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•  In one of the best sports stories of not just the week, but the year, 42-year-old Albert Pujols hit his 700th career home run on Friday night, becoming just the fourth major league player to reach that number.  The others:  Barry Bonds, Henry Aaron and Babe Ruth.  And most remarkably, his achievement comes as Pujols enjoyed a hitting surge in the final months before his retirement after a 22-year career.

The Dodger Beat online newsletter captures the moment:

Everything about Albert Pujols hitting his 700th career home run on Friday night felt perfect. 

It was fitting that Pujols was wearing a Cardinals jersey at the time of the historic accomplishment. At the end of his career, Pujols’ No. 5 will undoubtedly be retired in St. Louis, and it would be shocking if they didn’t ultimately build him a statue. 

Pujols hitting his 700th home run at Busch Stadium might’ve made the moment better. It would’ve been a great moment for the home fans to embrace Pujols, one of the best players in franchise history. 

But it was destined to happen at Dodger Stadium, a place that holds a special place to Pujols, and against a Dodgers organization that helped the future Hall of Famer fall in love with baseball once again. It’s not outrageous to think that Pujols wouldn’t have played this season if the Dodgers didn’t give him a second chance last season after the Angels designated him for assignment in May. 

•  Also in Major League Baseball, the Cleveland Guardians clinched the American league Central Division title with a 10-4 win over the Texas Rangers.

In the AL, the Guardians join the Houston Astros, who have clinched the AL West division title, and the New York Yankees, who have clinched a playoff spot but not yet the AL East title.

In the National League, the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves have both clinched playoff spots, but continue to fight it out for the NL East title, while the Dodgers have clinched the NL West title.  The Cardinals are the probably winner of the NL Central title, but have not clinched it, nor a playoff spot, yet.

•  In Week Three of National Football League play…

Buffalo Bills 19, Miami Dolphins 21

Cincinnati Bengals 27, New York Jets 12

Las Vegas Raiders 22, Tennessee Titans 24

New Orleans Saints 14, Carolina Panthers 22

Baltimore Ravens 37, New England Patriots 26

Detroit Lions 24, Minnesota Vikings 28

Philadelphia Eagles 24, Washington Commanders 8

Kansas City Chiefs 17, Indianapolis Colts 20

Houston Texans 20, Chicago Bears 23

Jacksonville Jaguars 38, Los Angeles Chargers 10

Los Angeles Rams 20, Arizona Cardinals 12

Green Bay Packers 14, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 12

Atlanta Falcons 27, Seattle Seahawks 23

San Francisco 49ers 10, Denver Broncos 11