Pujols’ 599th homer comes at expense of Braves and Colon

Albert Pujols watches his three-run homer off Braves pitcher Bartolo Colon in a nine-run third inning late Tuesday. It was the 599th home run of Pujols’ career. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

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Albert Pujols watches his three-run homer off Braves pitcher Bartolo Colon in a nine-run third inning late Tuesday. It was the 599th home run of Pujols’ career. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Albert Pujols is knocking at the door of history after hitting a three-run homer off Braves pitcher Bartolo Colon in a wild third inning late Tuesday, the 599th of Pujols’ career.

With two on and one out, Pujols fouled off a couple of pitches and worked a full count before hitting a long homer to left field to give the Angels a 3-2 lead, kicking off the scoring in a wild and messy nine-run inning that propelled the Angels to a 9-3 win. It was his third in 24 at-bats against Colon.

“I missed on that one and it got away from me,” Colon said through an interpreter. “It got away from me, to be honest. It got away from where he likes it, the sweet spot middle-in. I was going for the outside corner.”

Pujols, 37, has two home runs in the first two games of the three-game series against the Braves to leave him one away from becoming the ninth player in major league history with 600 homers.

In his 17th season, Pujols has hit .248 with seven homers and a .691 OPS, which would be the lowest of his career for the three-time former National League MVP. He played 11 seasons with the Cardinals before signing a 10-year, $254 million free-agent contract with the Angels before the 2012 season.

Pujols has a .308 career average and .960 OPS, and needs 11 homers to pass Sammy Sosa (609) for eighth on the all-time list. Jim Thome (612) ranks seventh and Ken Griffey Jr. (630) is sixth.

In Wednesday night’s series finale against the Braves, Pujols will face left-hander Jaime Garcia, a former Cardinals teammate. He has no homers in three career plate appearances against Garcia.

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Snitker's Braves fumbled and bumbled all over a 9-run third inning by the Angels in a 9-3 Braves loss Tuesday. Seven of the nine runs charged to Bartolo Colon were unearned. (Video by David O'Brien)