Pujols connects for career homer No. 490
Blast in fifth inning second in as many nights against Cubs
CHICAGO -- Albert Pujols' fifth-inning homer on Wednesday -- his second in as many days and his 15th of the year -- put him 10 away from becoming the 26th member of the still-hallowed 500 home run club.
Some advice: Don't even mention it to him.
"Hopefully that's the last time you bring that up," said Pujols, always uncomfortable when the focus is on his individual exploits, after the Angels' 13-2 win over the Cubs. "I don't think about it. When that time comes, it comes and we can talk about it. Right now, this is not about me. It's about helping our ballclub win.
"There's so many easy distractions in this game, and that can be one of them. I really want to focus, because at the end of the day it's not about me."
Pujols' 490 homers have him 28th on the all-time list, with Lou Gehrig and Fred McGriff next up with 493 homers apiece. With National League rules in play during the two-game series at Wrigley Field, Pujols played first base in back-to-back games for the first time since June 20-21 and hit well, notching three hits, walking three times, hitting two homers and driving in five runs over the two games.
His left foot, hindered by plantar fasciitis, is "pretty sore," but Pujols has a day off on Thursday, can be the designated hitter in Seattle this weekend and then has the four-day All-Star break.
"I'll just continue to suck it up, get treatment and be out there and do my best," Pujols said. "I'm looking forward to the four days after Sunday. Hopefully it can calm down a little bit, because I haven't gotten more than one day off my foot."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.