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New addition Albert Pujols helps Dodgers beat Diamondbacks

Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Albert Pujos gets his first hit and RBI with the team during a win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI 
Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Albert Pujos gets his first hit and RBI with the team during a win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI  | License Photo

May 18 (UPI) -- Future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols made an impact in his debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The veteran first baseman went 1 for 4 with an RBI in a 3-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Pujols hit out of the cleanup spot in the victory Monday at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The Dodgers signed the 10-time All-Star and three-time MVP on Monday. The Los Angeles Angels released Pujols last week.

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"I was really excited to take the field and contribute for the ball club," Pujols told reporters.

Pujols hit a fly ball to center field in his first at-bat in the bottom of the first inning. Dodgers catcher Will Smith then gave his team a 1-0 lead with a leadoff homer in the bottom of the second inning.

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Diamondbacks pitcher Madison Bumgarner walked two of the first three hitters in the bottom of the third frame. He then forced Max Muncy to ground out for the second out of the inning. Pujols stepped into the box as the fifth batter of the frame.

The veteran slugger took Bumgarner's first two offerings for called strikes. He then ripped an 87.1-mph cutter to center field to plate Mookie Betts for a 2-0 Dodgers lead.

"It felt great, in a key situation like that with Bumgarner," Pujols said. "I was able to get a good barrel on it and put it through the infield. It felt awesome."

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Pujols struck out in his next at-bat in the bottom of the sixth inning. He flew out to right field in his final at-bat in the eighth frame.

Eduardo Escobar brought in the Diamondbacks' lone run with an RBI single in the top of the eighth inning. Gavin Lux plated the final run of the game with an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning for the Dodgers.

Dodgers pitcher Walker Buehler allowed just one hit in seven scoreless innings to move to 2-0 this season. He lowered his ERA to 2.98 and threw seven strikeouts in the victory.

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Pujols, 41, is hitting .200 this season with five home runs and 13 RBIs. The 21-year veteran is a career .298 hitter with 667 home runs and 3,254 hits in 2,887 games.

Pujols ranks No. 14 on the all-time hits list, one behind Hall of Fame first baseman Eddie Murray. He ranks No. 5 in career home runs, doubles and extra-base hits. Pujols trails only Barry Bonds in career intentional walks. He trails only Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth in RBIs.

The Dodgers host the Arizona Diamondbacks at 10:10 p.m. EDT Tuesday at Dodger Stadium.

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