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Pujols rakes in fifth Silver Slugger

Pujols rakes in fifth Silver Slugger

ST. LOUIS -- The hardware continued to pile up for Albert Pujols on Thursday.

Pujols was named the winner of a Silver Slugger Award, a trophy presented to the top offensive player at each position in each league. Pujols was the only Cardinals player to win one, following Wednesday's announcement of Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina as Gold Glove Award winners.

It's a development that should come as no surprise to anyone who watched much baseball this year.

Pujols already won the Hank Aaron Award as the National League's top hitter at any position, and he's a heavy favorite to be named the NL's Most Valuable Player by the Baseball Writers' Association of America later this month.

More to the point, Pujols obliterated the other contenders when it comes to performance. He enjoyed what may have been his best offensive season, a feat that made it hard for any other hitter to keep up.

He led all NL first basemen in batting average (.327), on-base percentage (.443), slugging percentage (.658), home runs (47), doubles (45), stolen bases (16) and runs scored (124). He finished third in RBIs with 135.

It's the fifth Silver Slugger Award for Pujols, and his second in a row. He's won the award at three different positions -- three times at first base, once in the outfield and once at third base.

Only one player has won more than three Silver Sluggers at first base: Colorado's Todd Helton. Mark Teixeira, this year's American League winner, also picked up the award for the third time at first base. Barry Bonds holds the overall record with 12 wins, all in the outfield. The award has been given out since 1980.

Silver Sluggers are voted on by Major League coaches and managers.

Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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