Albert Pujols

Albert Pujols gets final word in final chapter of homecoming

By David Rice
ST LOUIS, MO - JUNE 23: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Yadier Molina #4 of the St. Louis Cardinals share a moment at home plate during Pujols final at bat in the ninth inning at Busch Stadium on June 23, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - JUNE 23: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Yadier Molina #4 of the St. Louis Cardinals share a moment at home plate during Pujols final at bat in the ninth inning at Busch Stadium on June 23, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /
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In the final chapter of a special homecoming weekend for Albert Pujols, the Angels finally came out on the right side of the scoreboard with a 6-4 victory over St. Louis.

Albert Pujols and his homecoming weekend had it all. There were numerous curtain calls, hugs, some tears, and of course no one could forget Pujols launching a home run, which was the crowning moment for Pujols.

However, the one thing Pujols did not have in the weekend was a victory over his former team, until Sunday.  The Cardinals won the first two games of the series 5-1 and 4-2, but on Sunday the Angels returned the favor with a 6-4 victory.  For his part Pujols went 2 for 5 in the game with two solid singles to left field.

In his final at-bat Pujols could have done some major damage as he came up with no outs and the bases loaded in the 9th inning with a chance to break the game open. Unfortunately Pujols could not come through popping out to first baseman Paul Goldschmidt for the first out.

Pujols’ teammates picked him up.  David Fletcher got a two-run single to extend a 2-0 Angels lead to four runs.  Dustin Garneau drove in a 5th run with another single and Wilfredo Tovar scored on a base-loaded walk to make it 6-0.

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The Angels held on for dear-life in the bottom of the 9th giving up four Cardinal runs to cut the lead to two.  However, Hansel Robles recovered in time to get Paul DeJong to ground out to David Fletcher to close out the victory. Even though the Angels did not win the series at least they got a victory in the final game of Pujols’ homecoming weekend.

For the series Albert Pujols performed admirably with all the emotions he was feeling, as he went 4 for 11 with a homer and an RBI and also played well in the field.

Pujols again got a standing ovation before each of his five at-bats.  Cardinals catcher and long-time Pujols teammate in St. Louis would go in front of the plate and face Pujols each time he came to bat over the weekend in order to give the crowd time give Pujols an ovation.

After the game the two friends exchanged jerseys as both of them embraced one final time.  Molina and Pujols will both most likely be first-ballot Hall of Famers after they become eligible.  For his part in the Pujols St. Louis love affair weekend, Molina needs to commended for the grace and class he showed his friend throughout the three-game series.

Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina show off their new jerseys
ST LOUIS, MO – JUNE 23: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Yadier Molina #4 of the St. Louis Cardinals pose for a photo after exchanging jerseys after their game at Busch Stadium on June 23, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

Between the hug before Pujols’ first at-bat on Friday night, to him playfully throwing some dirt at Pujols when he returned home after hitting the home run in Saturday’s game to the post-game jersey exchange.  It was the icing on the cake for the weekend.  This will be a series that Pujols and the Cardinal fans will never forget.

Mike Trout also played a key role in the series supporting Pujols throughout, giving him numerous congratulatory hugs throughout the weekend and just providing moral support for his friend and mentor.  Their relationship is very special just as Molina’s and Pujols’ is.  There is a huge deal of respect between Trout and Pujols and also Molina and Pujols.  This was baseball at its finest and the fans also played a major role in making it even more special.

Angel fans who made the trip or watched the series on TV saw the special moments as well and you have to appreciate what transpired as a baseball fan.

Next. Albert Pujols got the honors he deserved from Cardinals fans

Thank you St. Louis and Thank you Albert Pujols it was a pleasure to watch this special series.  It will be something I won’t soon forget.

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