ALBERT PUJOLS reached 500 homers in a hurry.
The Angels first baseman became the first major leaguer to hit his 499th and 500th homers in the same game, driving in five runs to help Los Angeles beat the Washington Nationals, 7-2, last night.
The three-time NL MVP connected twice off Taylor Jordan (0-3) - a three-run homer in the first inning and two-run drive in the fifth - to become the 26th player in big league history to reach the milestone.
"It tastes better with a win," Pujols said. "I knew this year, it was going to happen, whether it was tonight, tomorrow, 2 months from now. So my goal was just to prepare myself every day to try to help this organization win."
Pujols is the first player to collect his 499th and 500th homers in the same game, according to STATS. About 3 months past his 34th birthday, he's also the third-youngest to get to 500; Alex Rodriguez and Jimmie Foxx were both 32.
Making a quick recent surge, Pujols has eight homers this season, all in the past 13 games. His five RBI last night gave him the team lead with 19.
"The homers he's hit this year, they've been long ones. He's squaring balls up," said Angels outfielder Mike Trout, who scored on both of Pujols' homers. "That's the Albert I'm used to seeing. Full, healthy, 100 percent healthy."
The 500th homer went to left-centerfield at Nationals Park, on an 89 mph pitch with the count at 1-2.
"That pitch was supposed to be low and away," Jordan said, "and I guess I tried too hard to get it there."
Pujols clapped his hands together a few strides before trotting home, then pointed both index fingers to the sky. As soon as he touched the plate, Pujols was greeted by his Angels teammates, who streamed over from the visiting dugout.
"I was pretty emotional running the bases," Pujols said.
Fans gave Pujols a partial standing ovation, and he acknowledged the spectators by tipping his red batting helmet as he approached the dugout. After heading down the steps, he came back out for a curtain call.
"To have more than 19,000 players who wore a big league uniform and to have only 26 players to do this, it's pretty special," Pujols said.
* At Atlanta, Jose Fernandez matched his career high with 14 strikeouts in eight innings and combined with Steve Cishek on a three-hitter as the Miami Marlins shut out the Braves, 1-0. Fernandez (3-1) outpitched Atlanta's Alex Wood (2-3), who allowed four hits and one run with no walks and a career-high 11 strikeouts in eight innings.
* At Pittsburgh, Johnny Cueto tossed his second three-hitter against Pittsburgh in a week and the Cincinnati Reds eased past the struggling Pirates, 4-1. Cueto (2-2) improved to 15-4 in his career against the Pirates.
* At New York, Adam Wainwright threw seven neat innings before leaving with a knee injury, and Jon Jay hit a two-run single that sent the St. Louis Cardinals to a 3-0 victory over the Mets.
* At Chicago, Jason Hammel pitched seven strong innings, Mike Olt hit a three-run homer and Nate Schierholtz drove in a pair of early runs to lead the Cubs to a 9-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Hammel (3-1) allowed just one run and four hits in seven innings to lower his ERA to 2.60.
* At Denver, Nolan Arenado hit a go-ahead homer leading off the fifth and Franklin Morales (2-1) outdueled Madison Bumgarner, lifting the Colorado Rockies to a 2-1 win over the San Francisco Giants. Troy Tulowitzki also added a solo shot for the Rockies, who have hit seven homers in two nights against the Giants.
* At Boston, Jacoby Ellsbury doubled, tripled, drove in two runs and made a sliding catch in his return to Fenway Park, helping the New York Yankees and Masahiro Tanaka beat the Red Sox, 9-3.
Tanaka (3-0) allowed two runs on seven hits in 7 1/3 innings with seven strikeouts and no walks. * At St. Petersburg, Fla., David Price allowed six hits in his first complete game of the season, David DeJesus drove in three runs, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Minnesota Twins, 7-3. Price (3-1) struck out 12 in his ninth career complete game.
* At Toronto, Brett Lawrie and Melky Cabrera each hit three-run homers in the eighth inning and the Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles, 9-3 . Lawrie's drive off Evan Meek (0-1) snapped a 3-all tie in front of a sparse crowd of 14,866 at Rogers Centre.
* At Detroit, Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer, Justin Verlander (3-1) pitched seven solid innings and the Tigers held on for an 8-6 victory over the Chicago White Sox . Cabrera was 4-for-23 on this homestand before going 3-for-5 last night.
* At Cleveland, James Shields (2-2) allowed two runs in six innings and Mike Moustakas hit a three-run homer to lead the Kansas City Royals to an 8-2 win over the Indians.
* Major League Baseball has suspended four players involved in last Sunday's brawl between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Milwaukee Brewers.
Milwaukee catcher Martin Maldonado was suspended five games while outfielder Carlos Gomez was suspended three games. Pittsburgh outfielder Travis Snider must sit two games, with Russell Martin also missing one game.
* Atlanta Braves lefthander Mike Minor's season debut has been pushed back so he can make one more minor league start in his recovery from tendinitis in his left shoulder.