Pujols 1st to hit HRs No. 499, 500 in same game

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Los Angeles Angels Albert Pujols (5) steps out of the visitors dugout to acknowledge the applause from the crowd after hitting his career 500th homer run against Washington Nationals Taylor Jordan in the fifth inning of a baseball game in Washington, Tuesday, April 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Los Angeles Angels Albert Pujols (5) steps out of the visitors dugout to acknowledge the applause from the crowd after hitting his career 500th homer run against Washington Nationals Taylor Jordan in the fifth inning of a baseball game in Washington, Tuesday, April 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Los Angeles Angels Albert Pujols’ 500th, left, and 499th, right, career home run baseballs are seen on the table during a news conference following a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Tuesday, April 22, 2014 in Washington. Angels won the game 7-2. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Los Angeles Angels Albert Pujols is showered with a buckle of Gatorade by his teammates during on on-air interview following game against theWashington Nationals, Tuesday, April 22, 2014 in Washington. Pujols hit his 499th and 500th career homer in a game won by the Angels 7-2. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Los Angeles Angels Albert Pujols holds up the balls that he hit for his 499th, right, and 500th, left, career homers during a new conference following a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Tuesday, April 22, 2014 in Washington. The Angels won the game 7-2. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Los Angeles Angels Albert Pujols watches the ball after connecting for a two-run homer against Washington Nationals Taylor Jordan in the fifth inning of a baseball game in Washington, Tuesday, April 22, 2014. This was Pujols 500th career home run. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Albert Pujols smiled as he explained why he felt the need to apologize to his wife for hitting homer No. 500 so quickly after No. 499.

She had planned to be there in person once he got within one of the milestone.

He didn’t give her the chance.

Pujols became the first major leaguer to get his 499th and 500th homers in the same game, connecting twice Tuesday night and driving in five runs in the Los Angeles Angels’ 7-2 victory over the Washington Nationals. He’s the 26th player in big league history to reach 500.

“I went and made a phone call and I called her, and she was doing her nails. And everybody in the salon, I guess, was telling her, ‘Congratulations!’ And she was like, ‘Did you just hit your 500th?’ I was like, ‘I’m sorry,’” Pujols said with a laugh.

“She would have loved to be here with my kids and my family. She drives me every day to try to be a better person, a better player,” he added. “I would have loved to share this moment with her here.”

Hitting like the Pujols of old, the three-time NL MVP delivered a three-run homer in the first inning and two-run drive in the fifth, both off Taylor Jordan (0-3).

“I knew this year, it was going to happen, whether it was tonight, tomorrow, two months from now,” Pujols said.

He also hit his 400th homer at Nationals Park.

“I admire his ability and the way he goes about playing the game, and I have for some time,” said Washington manager Matt Williams, who played against Pujols. “I just wish he’d do it against somebody else.”

About three months past his 34th birthday, Pujols is the third-youngest to get to 500; Alex Rodriguez and Jimmie Foxx were 32.

Pujols has eight homers in the past 13 games and leads the Angels with 19 RBIs.

“That’s the Albert I’m used to seeing,” Angels outfielder Mike Trout said.

The 500th homer went to left-center field on an 89 mph pitch with the count at 1-2. The ball was grabbed — and later given to Pujols — by a man who identified himself as Thomas Sherrill, a 29-year-old Air Force staff sergeant from Pomona, Calif.

“That pitch was supposed to be low and away,” Jordan said, “and I guess I tried too hard to get it there.”

Pujols clapped his white batting gloves together a few strides before reaching home, then pointed both index fingers to the sky. Fans gave Pujols a partial standing ovation, and he tipped his red batting helmet as he approached the dugout. After heading down the steps, he came back out for a curtain call.

“That’s something you tell your kids when you get older. I don’t know the next guy who’s going to hit 500,” said Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs (2-0). “Nobody knows how to react. You don’t see it too much.”

Teammates said Pujols told shortstop Erick Aybar before the game he was going to hit two homers.

“Albert’s Albert. If he tells you something, he’s going to do it,” Trout said. “I’m not surprised he said that, because I’ve seen it before.”

After a couple of down-for-him years with the Angels following 11 transcendent seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, Pujols appears ready to reclaim his spot among the game’s elite hitters. He homered Friday and Saturday at Detroit to lift his total to 498, and now he’s reached the round number of 500 — a total that remains hallowed despite losing luster lately because so many players surpassed it.

Of the 26 members of the 500-homer club, 11 reached the mark in the last 15 years, according to STATS. Gary Sheffield was the previous player to do it, hitting No. 500 in April 2009.

“You don’t see 500, obviously, every night,” Pujols said. “It’s been a great career.”

The Cardinals selected him in the 13th round of the 1999 draft, and Pujols won a batting title in 2003, NL MVP awards in 2005, 2008 and 2009, and World Series titles with the Cardinals in 2006 and 2011. Pujols was the first player to hit 30 homers in each of his first 12 seasons and the second

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