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Pujols unleashes fury of offense as Cards sweep Brewers

Sep 2, 2011 - 12:11 AM Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) - Albert Pujols went 4-for-4 with two home runs, including a grand slam, as the St. Louis Cardinals earned a 8-4 win to complete a three-game sweep of the NL Central-leading Brewers.

Matt Holliday hit the 200th homer of his career and Rafael Furcal added a solo shot for the Cardinals, who have won four straight and six of seven.

Brandon Dickson allowed three runs on six hits in his first major-league start, but lasted just 3 1/3 innings. Octavio Dotel (1-2) struck out five in 2 2/3 frames of scoreless relief to secure the win.

Yovani Gallardo (15-9) was victimized for eight runs on nine hits, including a career-high four home runs, in 4 2/3 innings to suffer the loss.

Jonathan Lucroy, Corey Hart and Prince Fielder each homered for the Brewers, who were swept at Miller Park for the first time this season.

Despite the sweep, St. Louis still trails Milwaukee by 7 1/2 games.

"As many games as we have left, if we keep playing the way we did here, then we still have a pretty good chance," said Pujols of the team's playoff prospects.

In Wednesday's 8-3 win, the Cardinals were fueled by first-inning solo shots from Furcal and Pujols. Thursday's contest opened in identical fashion, giving the visitors a 2-0 lead.

Dickson and Jon Jay sandwiched a pair of infield singles around a Furcal walk to load the bases in the third and Pujols sent a 1-0 fastball the opposite way for his 12th career grand slam and a 6-0 margin.

A half-inning later, Lucroy homered leading off and Hart followed a Yovani Gallardo single with a shot over the fence in left-center, making it a 6-3 game.

Dotel spelled Dickson with two aboard in the fourth and escaped unscathed. It was the earliest the reliever had entered a game since May 23, 2001.

Holliday's blast to right, which was preceded by a Pujols single, gave the Cards an 8-3 lead in the top of the fifth. Dotel then put the Brewers down in order in the home half before getting Lucroy on a fly out to strand two in the sixth.

"Dotel was the guy that shut us down," said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke.

Fernando Salas tossed a scoreless seventh before allowing a leadoff shot to Fielder in the eighth.

An inning later, Fielder came to the plate with runners on the corners and two down, but Jason Motte induced the slugger into a game-ending line out.

Game Notes

Pujols is now tied with Dave Kingman for 37th on the career home runs list with 442 after recording his 42nd career multi-home run game...Dickson was recalled from Triple-A Memphis prior to the game...Hart extended his hit streak to 15 games...Fielder became the first Brewer in franchise history to hit at least 30 homers in five straight seasons...On Thursday, the Brewers sent pitchers Daniel Herrera and Adrian Rosario to the Mets to complete the trade for closer Francisco Rodriguez. Additionally on Thursday, Milwaukee reinstated center fielder Carlos Gomez from the 15-day disabled list and recalled center fielder Logan Schafer and catcher Martin Maldonado from Nashville.