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Tracking Albert Pujols' road to the 700 home run club

We're tracking every Albert Pujols home run in 2022 as he continues his quest to join the 700 home run club.

ST. LOUIS — In what he has said will be his final season in the Major Leagues, Cardinals designated hitter Albert Pujols is chasing history.

Coming into the year, Pujols needed 21 home runs to become just the fourth member of the illustrious 700 home run club.

Only Barry Bonds (762), Henry Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714) and Alex Rodriguez (696) have more career home runs than Pujols.

We're tracking his progress throughout the 2022 Cardinals season, as Pujols makes his bid at reaching the 700 home run plateau.

Nos. 682 and 683 - May 22, Pittsburgh Pirates

It was nearly a month between home runs for Pujols, but he broke out in a big way in Pittsburgh, and didn't even start the game.

Pujols entered the Cardinals' series finale in Pittsburgh on May 22 in the fifth inning as a pinch-hitter with the Cardinals already leading 11-0.

He blasted a 1-0 pitch from Pirates reliever Chase De Jong way out to left field for career homer No. 682. 

The fifth-inning home run was Pujols' 31st career homer at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. The only ballparks he's hit more home runs in are Busch Stadium III, Busch Stadium II, Angel Stadium in Anaheim and Minute Maid Park in Houston.

But he wasn't done. Pujols came up again in the ninth inning with two runners on against position player Josh VanMeter and deposited another ball into the left field seats for his 683rd career home run.

The Cardinals won the game 18-4, as Yadier Molina came into pitch the ninth inning.

No. 681 - April 17, Milwaukee Brewers

Pujols' second home run of the season looked like vintage Albert. With two runners on base and two outs, Pujols launched a pitch from lefthanded starter Aaron Ashby into the left-field bleachers.

The 426-foot blast was his 20th career home run at American Family Field, which was previously known as Miller Park.

The three RBIs put Pujols at 2,154 for his career. Pujols has the third-most RBIs in baseball history and is 60 behind Babe Ruth.

No. 680 - April 12, Kansas City Royals

Pujols hit his first home run back with the Cardinals on the first pitch he saw from Royals starter Daniel Lynch.

A solo shot in the first inning of his second start of the season, Pujols sent Lynch's pitch sailing into the left field stands as Busch Stadium erupted. It had been 3,855 days since Pujols had last homered at Busch Stadium as a Cardinal.

He thanked the crowd with a customary curtain call, and then went on to collect two more hits on the day.

RELATED: Watch: Albert Pujols launches first home run back with the Cardinals

Pujols returned to the Cardinals on a 1-year deal worth $2.5 million for 2022. Pujols had played his previous 10 seasons on the west coast with the Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers.

From 2001 to 2011, Pujols had arguably the most decorated start to any career in the history of baseball.

In those 11 seasons, Pujols was the 2011 National League Rookie of the Year, a 3-time NL MVP, a 9-time All-Star, a 6-time Silver Slugger, a 2-time Gold Glover and won two World Series titles with the Cardinals.

Pujols, along with teammate Yadier Molina, have said 2022 will be their final season in the Major Leagues.

This story will be updated throughout the 2022 Cardinals season.

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