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Pujols passes A-Rod for 4th all time with 697th HR

Justin Berl / Getty Images Sport / Getty

St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols cranked the 697th home run of his career Sunday to pass Alex Rodriguez for fourth on the all-time homers list.

The historic home run was of the go-ahead variety, putting the Cardinals on top of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the ninth inning. It helped propel St. Louis to a 4-3 win.

Sunday's blast was the 18th of the season for Pujols, who intends to retire at the end of the campaign. The three-time MVP and 11-time All-Star hit 463 of his homers in a Cardinals uniform.

"There's impressive, and then there's unbelievable," Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said, according to The Associated Press. "What we're witnessing right now is legendary. You have to take a step back from managing the game and take it all in. It's amazing."

Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), and Babe Ruth (714) are the only players with more home runs than the 42-year-old Cardinals great.

"This opportunity only comes once, and it's something that's a gift God has given me, and I try to take advantage of it every single day," Pujols said, playing his final month of professional baseball. "I'm not only making memories for me but for the fans, my family, and people who love me."

After their latest victory, the Cardinals find themselves at 83-58, eight games up on the Milwaukee Brewers for first place in the NL Central and on pace to make the postseason for the fourth consecutive year. If the season ended Sunday, the Cardinals would line up against the San Diego Padres in a three-game series played entirely at Busch Stadium.

"At the end of the day, it's pretty awesome, and we're playing great baseball and have a great group of teammates."

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