BC-BBA-Angels-Pujols 3000,166Albert Pujols becomes 32nd player in 3,000-hit clubAP Photo WAET107, WAET109Eds: APNewsNow.
After lining out in his first at-bat and walking in his second plate appearance Friday night at Seattle's Safeco Field, Pujols reached the milestone when he singled on a soft liner to right field with two outs in the fifth inning off Mariners starter Mike Leake.
The 38-year-old three-time National League MVP, 10-time All-Star and two-time World Series champion already had membership among an exclusive club of nine MLB players by hitting 617 career home runs over his 18 seasons so far.
Pujols and Beltre are the only Dominican-born players to reach the milestone.
Los Angeles Angels'Albert Pujols, second from left, hugs third base coach Dino Ebel, left, while first base coach Alfredo Griffin carries first base, after Pujols singled for his 3,000th career hit, against the Seattle Marine.
The players who are closest to reaching the 3,000 mark are Miguel Cabrera (2,666), Robinson Cano (2,409), and Jose Reyes (2,100).
Cabrera had to leave the Tigers' 10-6 loss to the Kansas City Royals after straining his hamstring in the sixth inning and was placed on the 10-day disabled list Friday. After Cabrera is Robinson Cano, almost 600 hits shy of the mark.
Pujols' accomplishment came in a victory thanks to the pitching of Garrett Richards, who took a shutout into the seventh inning.
Shohei Ohtani was lustfully booed by Seattle fans in his first game in the Pacific Northwest.
Over the last seven seasons in Los Angeles, Pujols has collected 927 hits, including 175 homers. The Mariners believed they had a shot at landing the Japanese star last offseason, only to see him choose a division rival. He threw 5 1/3 innings and matched a season-high with four walks.
"I was really excited, but at the same time you still have a game you need to play and you still need to focus to win that game, " Pujols said.
Pujols would hit his first home run three games later, off Armando Reynoso of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and he was on his way. LHP JC Ramirez was transferred to the 60-day DL.
Mariners: Lefty Marco Gonzales (3-2) goes for his second straight victory.
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