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Dodgers' Albert Pujols smashes homer, gets standing ovation from Cardinals fans

Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Albert Pujols watches the baseball leave Busch Stadium while hitting a solo home run in the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday in St. Louis. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Albert Pujols watches the baseball leave Busch Stadium while hitting a solo home run in the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday in St. Louis. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Albert Pujols homered at Busch Stadium for the second time as an opposing player and received a standing ovation from St. Louis Cardinals fans during a Los Angeles Dodgers win in St. Louis.

Pujols hit the 386-foot solo shot in the top of the first inning of the 7-2 victory on Tuesday. The future Hall of Famer also homered against the Cardinals in 2019 in St. Louis, when he was a member of the Los Angeles Angels. Pujols spent his first 11 seasons with the Cardinals.

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"It's pretty special," Pujols told reporters. "Anytime I come to St. Louis, with the history have playing here with the fans, it was really a great moment.

"To deliver like that in the first at-bat was huge."

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Cardinals starter J.A. Happ retired Dodgers infielders Trea Turner and Justin Turner in the first two at-bats of the game. Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina then stood in front of the plate to allow fans to welcome Pujols to the plate with cheers.

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Molina spent eight seasons as Pujols' teammate in St. Louis.

Pujols acknowledged the cheers with a hat tip and settled in against Happ. He took a fastball for a ball and fouled off a sinker on the first two pitches of the exchange.

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He then smacked a 2-1 sinker to left field for his 17th home run of the season. The blast was Pujols' 679th career home run. He ranks No. 5 on the all-time home runs list, 17 behind fourth-place Alex Rodriguez.

Busch Stadium erupted with cheers in celebration of Pujols' longball.

"I really enjoyed my time here with great memories," Pujols said. "That's something I'll share forever with this fanbase and city."

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Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado tied the game with a sacrifice fly RBI in the bottom of the first. He gave the Cardinals a 2-1 lead with an RBI single in the bottom of the third.

Dodgers right fielder Steven Souza tied the score at 2-2 with an RBI double in the top of the fourth. Center fielder Cody Bellinger followed with an RBI ground out for a 3-2 edge.

Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner hit a 397-foot solo homer to left field in the second at-bat of the fifth. Catcher Will Smith smacked a 393-foot solo blast to left to push the Dodgers lead to 4-2 in the sixth.

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Justin Turner hit another two-run shot in the top of the ninth for the final runs of the game.

Pujols went 1 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored in the win. Turner went 2 for 5 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Smith went 4 for 4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Trea Turner also recorded two hits in the win.

Left fielder Tyler O'Neill went 3 for 3 with a walk and a run scored for the Cardinals.

Pujols, 41, is hitting .239 with 49 RBIs, in addition to his 17 homers through 94 games. He owns a .260 average with 12 homers in 70 games since he joined the Dodgers in mid-May.

The Dodgers (88-51) face the Cardinals (69-68) at 7:45 p.m. EDT Wednesday at Busch Stadium.

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