MLB

Pujols delighted first Dodgers homer could help 'best team in MLB'

By Sports Desk May 21, 2021

Albert Pujols is confident the Los Angeles Dodgers remain the best team in MLB and was happy to help the World Series champions with his first home run since signing.

City rivals the Los Angeles Angels designated Pujols for assignment this month, but the future Hall of Famer quickly found a new home.

The Dodgers have since gone 4-0 to improve to 26-18, although they are still only third in the NL West.

Injuries to Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager have not helped the team, but Pujols believes they are still the best around.

"Just because I'm here, that doesn't change anything," he said when asked about the recent upturn in form. "These guys are a heck of a ball club.

"Before I got here, this team is probably the best team in the major leagues.

"You look up and down the lineup, the bullpen, the starting pitcher, even though they've got a couple of guys hurt. The quality guys we have here, they know how to win.

"The young guys, the energy that they have, I'm just excited to be part of this group.

"Just because I'm here we have a winning streak? I don't believe in that. I believe this is a great team."

The Dodgers' wins with Pujols on the team have all come in a series sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks, concluding with a 3-2 victory on Thursday.

Pujols set them on their way to that success with a two-run homer in the second inning.

It was his first for the Dodgers but 668th of his career, including five for the Angels this season.

The 41-year-old therefore became the first player in MLB history to homer for two different teams in the same metropolitan area before the end of May.

"Coming through here for 20 years-plus, I saw the energy that these guys have," said Pujols, who now has 3,256 hits, 13th on the all-time list.

"Whether with the Cardinals or the Angels, it always seemed like these guys were ready to play every day.

"I'm just glad to be on this side now and enjoying the energy and jumping on the wagon with some of these guys.

"I'm just excited to contribute and obviously to help this ball club continue to win."

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