Cardinals' Albert Pujols beats Cubs in last matchup, close to history

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Pujols beats Cubs in last matchup, closes in on history originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Of course he did.

After years of tormenting Cubs pitching, Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols got one last big swing in — in likely his final plate appearance against the North Siders.

Locked in a scoreless tie with the Cubs on Sunday, the Cardinals called on Pujols, who plans to retire after this season, as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning.

Pujols drove an 0-1 fastball from lefty Brandon Hughes for a go-ahead two-run homer that cleared the Cubs’ bullpen beyond the left field fence.

For Pujols, that was home run No. 695 in his decorated 22-season career — one shy of tying Alex Rodriguez for fourth-most in baseball history.

He’s a handful of homers away from becoming the fourth player ever to reach the 700 milestone.

RELATED: Cubs pay respect to Pujols' 'insane' career

Pujols has hit 59 career homers against the Cubs, his second-most against any opponent behind the Astros (62).

Sunday's home run was the difference maker after a pitcher's duel between Marcus Stroman and Miles Mikolas.

Stroman allowed four hits in seven scoreless innings, striking out five. Mikolas went eight innings, allowing two hits and a walk with three strikeouts.

The Cardinals won the season series 13-6 over the Cubs.

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