Albert Pujols has hit his first regular-season home run since joining the Los Angeles Angels, ending the longest drought of his 12-year career after 33 games and 139 at-bats.
Pujols’ two-run shot into the left-field bullpen Sunday came in the fifth inning against Toronto’s Drew Hutchison.
Pujols was playing his 28th game for the Angels since leaving St. Louis and signing a $240 million, 10-year contract. The homer, estimated at 390 feet, came in his 111 at-bat for the Angels.
The three-time NL MVP hit seven home runs in spring training. His regular-season drought began last year with the Cardinals.
Pujols’ home run was his 446th in the big leagues. The only game he’s missed this season was Saturday night’s 6-2 victory, when manager Mike Scioscia gave him the day off.
Pujols’ longest homer drought prior to this was in 2011, when he came up empty in 27 straight games and 105 at-bats. His longest previous drought at the start of a season was in 2008, when he failed to get one in his first eight games and 27 at-bats. The 32-year-old first baseman averaged 40.5 home runs during his 11 seasons with the Cardinals, including a career-best 49 in 2006. He is the only player in major league history to hit at least 30 homers in each of his first 11 big league seasons.
This was Pujols’ first home run at Angel Stadium, the 31st big league ballpark in which he’s hit one.