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First Pitch: Phat Albert is back

4/24/2014

BOSTON -- Albert Pujols arrives at Yankee Stadium with more home runs than anyone else in baseball. His eight long balls have him at 500 for his career.

Feeling healthier, Pujols, 34, looks as if he might be back to his old self. Even his 499th and 500th homers came with a little extra flair. From the Orange County Register:

"Pujols told teammates hours before Tuesday night’s 7-2 victory over the Washington Nationals that this was going to be the night.

"'He said he was going to hit two homers and drive in five runs,'" Erick Aybar said."

Pujols even advised his wife to travel to Washington because he expected to reach the 500 milestone prior to her arrival in New York.

"Pujols had been feeling so good about his swing lately that he told his wife she might want to change her travel plans and come to Washington in addition to New York, where the Angels will be this week.

"Unfortunately for her, he hit the homers too quickly. She was getting her nails done back home at the moment Pujols hit No. 500."

On Friday, Pujols will face Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda. The two have limited experience against each other. Pujols hit one of his 500 long balls in his 22 at-bats against Kuroda. He has a .273 average against him.

Pitching matchups versus Angels: On Friday, Kuroda (2-1, 4.07) vs. C.J. Wilson (2-2, 4.21).

On Saturday, Vidal Nuno (0-0, 6.75) vs. Hector Santiago (0-3, 3.68).

On Sunday, Masahiro Tanaka (3-0, 2.15) vs. Garrett Richards (2-0, 2.52).