With St. Louis leading Chicago, 3-1, Brian Barden led off the seventh with a single. Rick Ankiel walked, Brendan Ryan sacrificed the runners over and Colby Rasmus worked a walk to load the bases. That brought up Pujols.
Right-hander David Patton opened with a fastball, hoping to get two outs with one pitch, but instead he found himself looking back at a 441-foot shot.
"I just got my mind clear, making sure that I drive a run in, make sure that I stay away from the ground-ball double play," Pujols said. "That's what they tried to do. They tried to come inside with a sinker, and he left it over the plate and I was aggressive with it. There's not too many times that I like to swing at the first pitch, but I saw the ball. ... I was just aggressive, and I'm blessed that I had a good pitch and put a good swing, the best swing of the day."
Pujols obliterated the 95-mph fastball, taking it high into the bleachers behind the visitors' bullpen in left field at Busch Stadium. The ball landed just shy of the walkway that runs behind the left-field bleachers.
Most RBIs in first nine seasons
|Ted Williams||Red Sox||1939-1950||1,135|
A two-time National League MVP and the reigning holder of the award, Pujols is off to another brilliant start in 2009. His home run was his seventh in 18 games, and he has already amassed 25 RBIs. He's drawn 13 walks against just four strikeouts and has scored 20 runs. Pujols is the 30th player in baseball history to reach 1,000 RBIs before his 30th birthday, and according to the Elias Sports Bureau, he ranks 14th all-time and second among active players behind Manny Ramirez in terms of fastest to 1,000.
"It's a pleasure to watch him play," said manager Tony La Russa. "Actually, it's a pleasure to watch him practice. It's a pleasure to watch him in the clubhouse talking to his teammates. It's a pleasure to watch him in the community."
Pujols became the second player to reach 1,000 career RBIs this season, following the Mets' Carlos Beltran. The grand slam was the eighth of his Major League career, putting him one shy of Musial for the franchise record, and his second this season.
And he did it all on one of the most impressive homers of his impressive career.
"I hit that ball really good," Pujols said. "I'm not going to lie to you. That's all I've got. I hit that ball as good as I can hit a ball."