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Top 5 moments of 2010 for Albert Pujols
Per the usual, St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols(notes) enjoyed a solid season in 2010. Pujols finished near the top of the National League in homers, RBIs and batting average and was in competition for the first National League Triple Crown in more than 50 years. Though he fell short of the ultimate mark, Pujols had plenty of reasons to smile after finishing his 10th season in the big leagues. He hit .312 to mark the 10th time in as many seasons that he has hit better than .300. He also had 118 RBIs and has had better than 100 every season since his rookie year. Pujols also bashed 42 homers. Pujols finished second in the National League MVP voting but received both a Gold Glove for his defense and a Silver Slugger trophy for his offense. Here are the top five moments from Big Albert's big year:
On April 5, the Cardinals traveled to Cincinnati, and Pujols helped St. Louis claim an 11-6 victory. He went 4-for-5 with two homers. Pujols slammed a solo shot off Reds starting pitcher Aaron Harang(notes). The solo shot put St. Louis up 1-0, and the Cardinals never trailed. In the seventh inning, Pujols pounded a two-run homer off reliever Mike Lincoln(notes) to stretch the St. Louis lead to 6-2.
In a Sunday at Wrigley Field, Pujols excited fans of the visitors and silenced the hometown Chicago Cubs contingent with one of the best offensive days of his career. Albert went 3-for-3 with three homers, 4 RBIs and a pair of walks. All three homers came with two outs. Pujols hit a towering homer in the first inning off Ryan Dempster(notes) with the bases empty and homered off Dempster again in the fifth inning. His two-run shot was a line drive that cleared the left-field wall. In the ninth inning, Pujols added a solo shut off reliever John Grabow(notes). The Cardinals won the game 9-1 to improve to 29-22.
At Busch Stadium, Pujols helped St. Louis hammer Arizona 8-0 with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate. Albert hit two homers and had five RBIs. Pujols homered off Dontrelle Willis(notes) in the third inning with a runner on base. In the fifth inning, he hit another two-run shot off Willis. The first homer went out to left field, and the second homer was to right field. Pujols accounted for five of his team's seven RBIs.
With the Cardinals competing for a playoff spot, Pujols blasted a homer and finished 3-for-5 at the plate against the Pittsburgh Pirates to highlight a 10-2 St. Louis victory. Pujols had three RBIs and raised his batting average to .319. Albert connected against Sean Gallagher(notes) for a three-run blast in the first inning. It was his 33rd home run of the season. Pujols also doubled off Gallagher.
In a 13-inning game at Nationals Park, Pujols hit a major milestone with his 400th career home run. Pujols hit a pitch from Jordan Zimmermann(notes) over the wall in right-center field in the fourth inning. The solo shot was part of a four-run rally that gave St. Louis a brief 5-3 lead. In the eighth inning, Pujols doubled to help St. Louis rally. The Cardinals tied the game but lost 11-11. Pujols finished the game 2-for-4 with three runs scored and a pair of RBIs. He also drew three intentional walks.
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