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Elephant Rumblings: Albert Pujols’ 660th homer ties Willie Mays for 5th place on career list

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MLB news roundup

MLB: SEP 13 Angels at Rockies Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Good morning, Athletics Nation!

For once, the big stories from last weekend in Major League Baseball had to do with action on the field. Sure, there was another coronavirus scare, this time in the Giants’ clubhouse, but it turned out to be a false positive so we don’t need to dwell on it. We can talk some ball.

Foremost, Albert Pujols hit his 660th career homer on Sunday, tying him with Willie Mays in one of the most hallowed numbers in MLB history. The pair are knotted for fifth all-time, behind just Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714), and Alex Rodriguez (696), and ahead of Ken Griffey Jr (630). The historic dinger came after an extended wait, more than a month since Pujols’ 659th long ball on Aug. 4.

The 40-year-old has long sealed his Hall of Fame case. His 3,230 hits rank 15th, and he still has time to pass Nap Lajoie this season. In addition to the homers, his 669 doubles also rank fifth (behind Speaker, Rose, Musial, Cobb). His 101 bWAR are 30th all-time, including pitchers, currently sandwiched between Randy Johnson and Joe Morgan. Toss in three MVPs and two rings for good measure.

The day didn’t entirely belong to Pujols, though. Alec Mills of the Chicago Cubs threw a no-hitter against the Brewers, the second no-no in the majors this year. He struck out five and walked three, using 114 pitches to finish it off. Click here to watch all 27 outs.

Mills, an unheralded 28-year-old righty soft-tosser with barely 100 career innings to his name, is one of the unlikelier pitchers in no-hitter history. He was a college walk-on, a 22nd-round draft pick, acquired in a minor 2017 trade that nobody remembers, and he’s only even in the rotation right now because of an injury to someone else.

Incredibly, this isn’t the first time that Pujols has shared the stage of history. MLB’s Sarah Langs points out three other times that Pujols reached a major career milestone on the same day as a no-hitter.

Congrats to Pujols and Mills! And also a warm thank you to Pujols from A’s fans for only reaching the playoffs once in nine seasons with the Angels — really makes these milestones easier for us to enjoy.

A’s Coverage

MLB News & Interest

Yesterday Game Highlights

Friday: Win! Including another Olson grand slam!

... And I forgot to include this in the Game Recap because it was already 10-0, but Mark Canha robbed a homer

Saturday: Doubleheader split! And Chris Bassitt led the way in the win.

... And the A’s even won a replay review! Third time’s the charm for reviews of Matt Olson sliding into home plate.

Sunday: Loss! But on the bright side, La STEEEELLLLLLAAAA!!!

Best of A’s Twitter

This qualifies as good news in 2020

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O Chaptain my chaptain

Friday’s seven-run 1st inning was historic

That 2016 draft class is already looking good, other than Puk getting hurt

Always love hearing the fun and creative ways managers use to tell prospects they’ve been called up!

Go get ‘em next time, kid

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At least he’s fun to watch while he’s shutting your team down

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RIP

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