Pujols sets NL assists mark at first base

Pujols sets NL assists mark at first

DENVER -- Albert Pujols holds plenty of batting records, but on Sunday he bolstered his standing in the game's history in another way. With a flip to pitcher Jason Motte in the eighth inning of Sunday's 4-3 loss to the Rockies, Pujols set a National League record for most assists in a season by a first baseman.

It was Pujols' 181st assist of the year, passing a record set by the Cubs' Mark Grace in 1990. Bill Buckner holds the Major League record of 184, which he set in 1985 with the Red Sox.

"That's good," Pujols said of the record. "That will tell you that our pitchers are keeping the ball down and keeping me busy at first."

Pujols tied the record on the same day that a defensive mistake by the slugger proved costly to the Cardinals three innings earlier. Pujols' error on a grounder by Eric Young Jr. in the fifth allowed Young to reach base, and Young came around to score an unearned, game-tying run later in the inning.

"I also made an error that cost us the game right there," Pujols said. "That's part of the game. It just gave me a bad hop and that's it."

Pujols won a Gold Glove for his play at first base in 2006.

Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.