Albert Pujols on Sunday hit his 702nd career home run and tied Babe Ruth for second on the all-time RBI list, but the Pittsburgh Pirates took the game from the St Louis Cardinals 7-5.
Yadier Molina and Pujols, who are retiring at the end of the season, were honored in a 46-minute ceremony prior to their final regular-season home game.
Pujols called it “pretty awesome” and “a great day.”
“I’m really blessed to be back here,” said Pujols, who has 468 homers with the Cardinals. “To finish my career where everything started, it means a lot.”
Ben Gamel and Bryan Reynolds homered for Pittsburgh, who have won four of six.
Reliever Chase DeJong (6-2) got the win for the Pirates, allowing one run on four hits over 1-2/3 innings. David Bednar recorded his 19th save in 23 opportunities.
Reynolds snapped a none-for-16 skid with his 27th homer of the season.
“I was really proud of our guys, we battled back,” Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton said.
Pujols ripped a two-run double in the opening inning and Molina brought him in with a fly to left for a 3-0 lead.
“He continues to just wow everybody,” St Louis manager Oliver Marmol said. “That was no different.”
The 42-year-old Pujols followed with his 23rd home run of the season in the third inning off Roansy Contreras that tied the game at 4-4.
Pujols is fourth on the all-time home run list behind Babe Ruth (714), Hank Aaron (755) and Barry Bonds (762).
He is also now tied with Ruth for second in RBI list (2,214) behind Aaron (2,297).
Molina and pitcher Adam Wainwright started their 328th game together. Wainwright (11-12) allowed six runs on six hits over 4-2/3 innings.
Molina, Pujols and Wainwright were all removed from the game together so they could walk off as a trio with two outs in the fifth inning. Wainwright has yet to decide if he would come back next season.
“Great emotional day for me,” Molina said. “Just to walk with Albert, Waino, it was a great moment for baseball.”
Marmol planned it.
“We wanted all three of them to walk off together. Not a bad way to go out,” he said.
Pujols began his career with St Louis in 2001 and left for the Los Angeles Angels in 2012. He signed a free-agent contract with the Cardinals on March 28.
The Cardinals, who have already clinched their fifth National League Central title in the past 10 years, closed the regular-season with 26 wins in their past 34 home games.
Elsewhere, the White Sox pipped the Padres 2-1, the Braves mastered the Mets 5-3, the Rockies defeated the Dodgers 4-1, the Tigers mauled the Twins 5-2, the Orioles overcame the Yankees 3-1 and the Blue Jays beat the Red Sox 6-3.
The Guardians dethroned the Royals 7-5, the Astros overcame the Rays 3-1, the Cubs crushed the Reds 8-1, the Angels routed the Rangers 8-3, the Athletics sank the Mariners 10-3, the Phillies pummeled the Nationals 8-1 in 6 innings, the Giants downed the Diamondbacks 4-3 in 10 innings and the Marlins edged the Brewers 4-3 in 12 innings.
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