ANAHEIM -- Albert Pujols continued his historic trek toward 600 home runs on Friday night, launching his 595th career home run in the second inning of the Angels' 7-6 loss to the Astros in 10 innings at Angel Stadium.
Pujols hammered an 0-1 fastball from Houston left-hander Dallas Keuchel to dead center to give the Angels an early 1-0 lead. The ball rocketed off Pujols' bat at 107 mph, with a 21-degree launch angle, and traveled a projected 431 feet, according to Statcast™. It marked Pujols' hardest-hit home run since Aug. 3, 2016, when he whacked a 108.2 mph shot off A's reliever Ryan Dull.
Pujols' blast -- only his fourth home run to the right of center field in the last three seasons -- was also the second-farthest home run Keuchel has allowed since 2015.
"Pujols has been pretty good for a reason," Keuchel said. "When he picks his pitch to go get, he's going to hit it."
Pujols has beat up on the Astros over his 17 seasons in the Majors, as his 55 career home runs against Houston are the most all-time.
The 37-year-old slugger is now only five home runs away from becoming the ninth player in Major League history to enter the exclusive 600-home run club. While Pujols recently said it's a "blessing" to be within reach of such a significant milestone, he also insisted that the pursuit is not at the forefront of his mind.
"I don't think about that," Pujols said. "I think about helping my team win every day. That's my job. Numbers, at the end of the season and after your career, you can focus on that. Right now, that I'm active, I'm not thinking about that."
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.