Pujols, in the midst of a power surge comparable to any in his magnificent career and appears intent on letting the world know he still is empowered with all the right stuff.

Going deep twice against the American League West-leading Astros in the 4-3 victory Monday night at Angel Stadium, Pujols lifted his AL-high homer number to 23. The Machine is sizzling.

In his past 24 games, Pujols has 15 home runs. He recently moved past Hall of Famers Jimmie Foxx and Mickey Mantle on the all-time homer list and seems destined to displace Mike Schmidt as No. 15 in a matter of days. The great Phillies third baseman retired with 548 homers, five more than Pujols now owns.

“It’s the best I’ve felt since the 3 1/2 years I’ve been here,” he said. “A lot of the credit I give to the trainers and the good routine I do to keep myself on the field.”

Clearly, the $240 million man is determined to play out the 10 years on his contract and continue to track down the legends. His renewed sense of well-being shows in the field, where his defense remains first rate at first base, on the basepaths and most definitely in the batter’s box.


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