24 Sep

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On his way to 700 home runs, Albert Pujols victimized seven different Mississippians for a total of 14 round-trippers during his 22-year career. He took Roy Oswalt and Kendall Graveman deep four times each, got Paul Maholm twice and belted one apiece against Louis Coleman, Drew Pomeranz, Dakota Hudson (his current teammate with St. Louis) and Demarcus Evans. Pujols got Weir’s Oswalt for No. 23 in 2001, when both were rookies. He got ex-Mississippi State star Graveman twice in one game in 2017, Nos. 611 and 612. Evans, the former Petal High standout, made his big league debut on Sept. 18, 2020, for Texas, and, as luck would have it, the first hitter he faced was future Hall of Famer Pujols, then with the Los Angeles Angels. Pujols sent Evans’ second pitch — a 93-mph fastball — over the wall in Anaheim for his 662nd career home run. Pujols, one of four members of the 700 home run club, has gone deep off a record 455 different pitchers. So far. P.S. Friday night was also a somewhat special occasion for Pujols’ teammate Corey Dickerson. The outfielder from McComb made his first MLB pitching appearance, working a scoreless ninth inning in the Cardinals’ 11-0 win against the Dodgers.

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