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July 30, 2011

"The Machine" Reaches Another Milestone

Friday night, Albert Pujols was able to cross another milestone off his already lengthy list of career achievements.

With an eighth inning double off the Chicago Cubs Carlos Marmol, the St. Louis Cardinals superstar became the 12th fastest player in Major League history to reach 2000 career hits.

Among the 18 active big leaguers with 2000 hits, the nine-time All-Star and three-time National League MVP is the third-fastest to reach the milestone in terms of the fewest at-bats needed and the fourth fastest in terms of games played.

Pujols also became just the fifth player in Cardinals history to reach the milestone with the club, trailing only Stan Musial (3630), Lou Brock (2713), Rogers Hornsby (2110) and Enos Slaughter (2064).

Brock was the last to do the deed back in 1974.

"It's an honor," Pujols told reporters following the game. "I'm blessed to be in the same name with Stan Musial and the great players in the past. What can I say? It's been a blessing."

What’s next for the 31-year-old?

Assuming “The Machine” can get seven more home runs, 36 RBI and raises his average north of .300 (a tall task given he is currently hitting .274), he’d not only become the only player to have started his career with eleven straight seasons with 30 homers, 100 RBI and a .300 batting average…but he’d also be the only player to have done it in eleven straight seasons.

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