PITTSBURGH, Pa. – It only took a matter of two days for No. 5 with the Birds on the Bat to officially take over the No. 4 spot all-time among Major League Baseball’s home run kings.   

Albert Pujols picked up his 697th career home run Sunday against the Pittsburgh Pirates, passing Alex Rodriguez for the fourth-most home runs all-time in MLB history. 

Pujols played hero with his latest home run, taking Pirates pitcher Chase De Jong deep in the 9th inning for a two-run home run to put the Cardinals ahead 3-2 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The historic home run comes just one day and four at-bats after Pujols matched Rodriguez’s 696 career home runs. 

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 has officially passed Alex Rodriguez (696) for fourth-most round-trippers.

Pujols has been heating up in the power department recently. He has 14 home runs since the start of July and 11 over the last month. 

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. 

With 22 games remaining in the 2022 regular season, Pujols will need to average around one home run every seven games in order to reach 700 career home runs. 

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 463 home runs only behind fellow Cardinals legend Stan Musial.