PITTSBURGH – No. 5 wearing the Birds on the Bat but no longer No. 5 among MLB’s all-time home run kings.  

Albert Pujols picked up his 696th career home run Saturday against the Pittsburgh Pirates, matching Alex Rodriguez for the fourth-most home runs all-time in MLB history. 

Pujols took Pirates pitcher J.T. Brubaker deep in the sixth inning, a two-run home run that initially helped the Cardinals move to a 3-3 tie. Pujols followed up the historic home run with another game-tying hit in the eighth, a line-drive single that capped a three-hit night and set the stage for a 7-5 comeback victory.

Only three MLB greats now have more career home runs than Pujols, all part of the exclusive 700-home run club. The top three all-time home run leaders are Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714). Pujols is currently tied with Alex Rodriguez (696) for fourth-most round-trippers.

Rodriguez congratulated Pujols on matching fourth-place via Twitter with the following heartfelt message: “Congrats to my brother @PujolsFive on tying me with No.696 for 4th on the all-time home run list! Keep going!”

Pujols has been heating up in the power department recently. He has 13 home runs since the start of July and 10 over the past month of action.

While chasing fourth-place all-time and 700 career home runs, Pujols passed a more specific home run record held by MLB’s all-time home run leader Barry Bonds. Pujols went deep against his 450th different hurler on Aug. 29, giving him the most home runs all-time off of different pitchers. He has extended that record with Brubaker representing his 452nd unique arm he has taken deep.

With 23 games remaining in the 2022 regular season, Pujols will need to average around one home run every six games in order to reach 700 career home runs. It looks encouraging if Pujols can keep up a pace he has sustained since August, picking up one home run around every four games on average.

Regardless of how things end up, the sendoff season has been quite special for Pujols, one in which he participated the Home Run Derby and MLB All-Star Game after a commissioner’s legacy pick and one in which he made his first appearance as a pitcher.

Now in his 12th season with the Cardinals, Pujols won three NL MVP awards and two World Series rings in St. Louis from 2001-2011, a stint during which he slugged at least 32 home runs each season and pushed several franchise batting records. He ranks second in Cardinals history with 462 home runs only behind fellow Cardinals legend Stan Musial.