Albert Pujols made history with two home runs to reach 700 for his career and the visiting St. Louis Cardinals capped the night with a convincing 11-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday.
Pujols hit a two-run homer in the third inning against left-hander Andrew Heaney and a three-run shot in the fourth against right-hander Phil Bickford as the Cardinals reduced their magic number for clinching the National League Central title to four.
Pujols, who has 21 home runs on the season, joined Babe Ruth (714), Hank Aaron (755) and Barry Bonds (762) in the 700 club.
Lars Nootbaar, Juan Yepez and Alec Burleson also hit home runs for the Cardinals (89-63).
St. Louis left-hander Jose Quintana (6-6) gave up five hits over 6 2/3 scoreless innings. He struck out six without issuing a walk. Quintana is 3-1 with a 2.14 ERA in 10 starts since moving to the Cardinals from the Pittsburgh Pirates at the trade deadline.
Heaney (3-3) allowed four runs on four hits in 3 2/3 innings with two walks and five strikeouts.
The Dodgers (104-47) lost for the third time in their past four games.
Pujols’ first home run gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead, with his historic three-run shot in the fourth made it 5-0.
The sold-out Dodger Stadium crowd gave Pujols a curtain call after the second home run. The veteran of 22 seasons hit 12 home runs as a member of the Dodgers last season.
The Cardinals scored three times in the fifth inning, getting an RBI double from Dylan Carlson and a two-run homer from Nootbaar, his 14th, for an 8-0 lead.
Yepez hit his 12th of the season in the seventh inning, and two batters later Nootbaar hit a run-scoring single for his third RBI. Burleson, pinch-hitting for Pujols, belted his first career home run in the eighth against Dodgers infielder Hanser Alberto.
Alberto pitched the final two innings, retiring six consecutive batters after Burleson’s leadoff home run, in his ninth appearance on the mound this season. Cardinals outfielder Corey Dickerson pitched a scoreless ninth.
Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman was given a rare night off, just the second time this season he was not in the starting lineup. Los Angeles has scored six runs over its past four games.