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Albert Pujols: Home run stroke is back, timing is perfect

  • MVP seasons and World Series rings couldn't help Albert Pujols in his first two seasons with the Los Angeles Angels. This season, the power and production that made Pujols a start have returned.Just ask the Houston Astros. Long an Albert nemesis, with memories of a bomb off Brad Lidge haunting their collective memories, Astros fans watched Pujols unload his 511th career homer Saturday. MORE: 500 homer list, hitters and their favorite pitchersBetter yet for the Angels: Homer No. 19 on the season was the go-ahead hit in what became an 11-5 victory. "It doesn't matter who we're facing," Pujols said. "We hit some balls hard against [starter Scott] Feldman, but he made some good pitches when he needed them to get out of some innings. But our goal is not to concentrate on who's on the mound. It's to go out there and have quality at-bats against anybody."It was the 511th homer of his career, tying Mel Ott for 23rd place on baseball's list and putting one behind Ernie Banks and Eddie Mathews. Pujols added his 542nd career double in the ninth, overtaking Rogers Hornsby for 30th place."It's good to see him attacking the ball the way he can," Scioscia said. "Albert knows how important he is to our lineup. And when he doesn't play to his potential, nobody feels it more than he does. We need Albert to do what he's capable of, and he's doing it."A week ago, reports suggested Pujols was loafing, not playing all out and at his accustomed pace. Turns out, he was playing through a[......]

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