If he were to match last year's total of 143 hits, he will move past the likes of Lou Brock, Rod Carew, and Craig Biggio, with an outside chance of topping Dave Winfield at 3,110 or Alex Rodriguez at 3,115 before season's end.
Even the two-run single Pujols later added for career hit No. 3,001, passing Pirates legend Roberto Clemente.
Miguel Cabrera is on pace to become the 33rd player in Major League Baseball history to join the 3,000-hit club next season or the beginning of 2020, adding to his impressive Hall of Fame resume.
Pujols became the second Dominican player to reach 3,000 hits by joining Beltre. Richards (4-1) scattered four hits and had eight strikeouts in his first start against Seattle since late 2015. Carew and Pujols are the only players to record their 3,000th hit with the Angels.
Those cheers turned to boos when Ohtani was announced. With Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki stepping away this week for the remainder of the 2018 season, Beltre is the only active player with more hits than Pujols.
Few sluggers in baseball history have been more versatile than Pujols, who joins Aaron as the only players with 600 doubles and 600 homers among their 3,000 hits. He won three MVPs and finished second in the voting four other times.
The Angels placed C Martin Maldonado on bereavement list and selected the contract of C Juan Graterol from the minors. Skaggs has a 4.81 ERA in seven career starts vs. Seattle.
Mariners: Lefty Marco Gonzales (3-2) goes for his second straight victory.