Pujols sets first baseman assist mark

Pujols sets first baseman assist mark

ST. LOUIS -- Albert Pujols may not win his second Gold Glove Award this year, but he set a new defensive record on Sunday afternoon.

With a toss to pitcher Joel Pineiro in the fifth inning of Sunday's game against the Brewers, Pujols set a Major League record for most assists in a season by a first baseman. He set the National League record seven days earlier in Denver.

It was Pujols' 185th assist of the year, passing a record set by Bill Buckner in 1985 with the Red Sox.

"It's a great accomplishment, and I thank God for giving me the opportunity to be able to do that," Pujols said. "As a defensive first baseman, or whatever in the infield, my job is to catch the ball and try to do everything that I can. Going to Spring Training, I don't think I was putting it in my mind to try to break the assist record. But my job was to try to be out there and do everything I can to help my ballclub to win."

The slugger has had a strong defensive year in some respects, as evidenced by the record assist total. However, he's also had some difficulties at times. He's racked up 13 errors, his second-highest total since he became a first baseman full-time in 2004.

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.