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Pujols snaps slump with two homers as Cards romp

Apr 15, 2007 - 11:03 PM ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- Albert Pujols broke out of his slump to help the St. Louis Cardinals to their first home victory of the season.

Pujols belted two homers, including a three-run homer in the first inning against Ben Sheets, and Braden Looper continued his solid pitching as the Cardinals posted a 10-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Chris Duncan had four hits, including his third home run of the season in the fifth inning off Sheets for the Cardinals, who scored just four runs in losing their first four home contests.

"It was good to see the team play as well as we played today," said Duncan, downplaying his career best day. "For us to score 10 runs and get the win, it was nice to see a good team effort."

Pujols came into the game hitting .158 with one home run and two RBI, but his opening blast to left overcame a 2-0 deficit. The slugger added his third of the season in the eighth off Elmer Dessens.

"I don't need to be concerned right now," said Pujols of his slow start. "It's a long season. You obviously want to start on a good pace but if that doesn't happen you need to make sure you continue working hard. I don't need to change my approach."

"You knew it was coming sooner or later," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "I think somebody said that if Albert wasn't hitting .300 by June they would be really worried. I'm thinking 'dag gum - if Albert's not hitting .300 by the end of next week I'd start to be getting a little worried.' There's no way that's not going to happen."

Pujols multi-homer game was his 17th of his career and his first since September 3.

Looper (2-1) surrendered an RBI double to Prince Fielder and a run-scoring single by Johnny Estrada in the first, but shut down the Brewers for the next five innings.

"Today was a learning experience," Looper said. "It's probably not the best I've felt control-wise, stuff-wise. I really had to work with Yaddy (Molina) and mix it up. You have to find a way to get through it and leave the game competitive."

In his third career start, Looper yielded five hits and two walks while striking out three in six innings.

"I like the way he's been able to maintain his stuff into the second half of the game," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said.

"You'd think that stamina would be a problem, but he's really gotten into it and maintained his concentration, to me that's the most impressive thing."

Duncan singled and scored ahead of Pujols' blast in the first, singled in the third and added another base hit during a three-run sixth that pushed the lead to 8-2.

"Last year there were times he'd come up to the plate and you wouldn't really worry about him too much," Yost said. "That hasn't been the case at all this year. He's starting to become a real threat every time he walks up there."

Sheets loaded the bases on two walks and a single before hitting Scott Spiezio, plating a run and ending his day. David Eckstein greeted reliever Matt Wise with a sacrifice fly before Pujols capped the inning with an RBI groundout.

Sheets (1-2) was tagged for eight runs and eight hits in five-plus frames, dropping his second straight decision after an Opening Day two-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is 4-14 all-time against St. Louis.

"I don't think I've always struggled (against the Cardinals)," Sheets said. "To think that I've only pitched four good games against them, your stretching. I think I've pitched better games than what the record shows.

"I'm definitely not where I want to be. I've struggled with my command all three games (this year)."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    MILWAUKEE 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 7 1
    ST LOUIS 3 0 0 1 1 3 1 1 x 10 13 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: MIL - BEN SHEETS, MATT WISE (6TH), CARLOS VILLANUEVA (7TH), BRIAN
    SHOUSE (7TH), ELMER DESSENS (8TH) AND JOHNNY ESTRADA
    STL - BRADEN LOOPER, RYAN FRANKLIN (7TH), BRA

    Apr 15 5:00 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ALBERT PUJOLS (3) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF ELMER DESSENS.
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 2, ST LOUIS 10
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: S ROLEN (.182, 0-FOR-3, BB)

    Brewers vs. CardinalsApr 15 4:49 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - MID INNING UPDATE
    PLAY: B Shouse relieved C Villanueva.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D ECKSTEIN ON FIRST, S SCHUMAKER ON SECOND,
    A KENNEDY ON THIRD, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 2
    ST LOUIS 9 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: C Duncan (.424, 4-FOR-4, HR, RBI)

    Apr 15 4:30 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - PITCHING CHANGE
    MIL: BRIAN SHOUSE (1-0, 0.00) IN THE 7TH
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D ECKSTEIN ON FIRST, S SCHUMAKER ON SECOND,
    A KENNEDY ON THIRD, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 2, ST LOUIS 9
    DUE UP FOR STLOUIS: C DUNCAN (.424, 4-FOR-4, HR, RBI)

    Apr 15 4:30 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - MID INNING UPDATE
    PLAY: S Schumaker hit for R Franklin.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A KENNEDY ON FIRST, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 2
    ST LOUIS 9 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: S Schumaker (.143, 0 HR, 1 RBI)

    Apr 15 4:26 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ADAM KENNEDY SCORED PRESTON WILSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A KENNEDY ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 2
    ST LOUIS 9 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: Y MOLINA (.281, 2-FOR-2, BB)

    Apr 15 4:25 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ADAM KENNEDY SCORED PRESTON WILSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A KENNEDY ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 2
    ST LOUIS 9 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: Y MOLINA (.281, 2-FOR-2, BB)

    Brewers vs. CardinalsApr 15 4:25 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - MID INNING UPDATE
    PLAY: C Villanueva relieved M Wise.
    SITUATION: 0 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 0 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 2
    ST LOUIS 8 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: J Edmonds (.241, 0-FOR-3)

    Apr 15 4:21 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - PITCHING CHANGE
    MIL: CARLOS VILLANUEVA (0-0, 9.00) STARTING THE 7TH
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 2, ST LOUIS 8
    DUE UP FOR STLOUIS: J EDMONDS (.241, 0-FOR-3)

    Apr 15 4:21 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    MILWAUKEE 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 6 1
    ST LOUIS 3 0 0 1 1 3 8 9 0 (BOT 7)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: MIL - MATT WISE (OUT)
    STL - RYAN FRANKLIN

    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: J EDMONDS (.241, 0-FOR-3)
    P WILSON (.172, 0-FOR-2, BB)
    A KENNEDY (.179, 1-FOR-3)

    Apr 15 4:20 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY ALBERT PUJOLS SCORED YADIER MOLINA.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, C DUNCAN ON SECOND, S SPIEZIO ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 2
    ST LOUIS 8 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: S ROLEN (.188, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Brewers vs. CardinalsApr 15 4:07 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY DAVID ECKSTEIN SCORED ADAM KENNEDY.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, S SPIEZIO ON FIRST, Y MOLINA ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 2
    ST LOUIS 7 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: C DUNCAN (.406, 3-FOR-3, HR, RBI)

    Brewers vs. CardinalsApr 15 4:04 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SCOTT SPIEZIO HIT BY BEN SHEETS PITCH WITH BASES LOADED
    SCORED PRESTON WILSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, S SPIEZIO ON FIRST, Y MOLINA ON SECOND, A
    KENNEDY ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 2
    ST LOUIS 6 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: D ECKSTEIN (.286, 1-FOR-3)

    Brewers vs. CardinalsApr 15 4:00 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CHRIS DUNCAN (3) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 5TH OFF BEN SHEETS.
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 2, ST LOUIS 5
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: A PUJOLS (.175, 1-FOR-2, HR, 3 RBI)

    Brewers vs. CardinalsApr 15 3:43 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    MILWAUKEE 2 0 0 0 2 4 1
    ST LOUIS 3 0 0 1 4 6 0 (TOP 5)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: MIL - BEN SHEETS
    STL - BRADEN LOOPER

    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: B SHEETS (.000, 0-FOR-1)
    R WEEKS (.282, 1-FOR-2)
    J HARDY (.282, 0-FOR-2)

    Apr 15 3:30 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY BRADEN LOOPER SCORED PRESTON WILSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, Y MOLINA ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 2
    ST LOUIS 4 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: D ECKSTEIN (.293, 1-FOR-2)

    Brewers vs. CardinalsApr 15 3:28 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    MILWAUKEE 2 0 2 3 0
    ST LOUIS 3 3 3 0 (BOT 2)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: MIL - BEN SHEETS
    STL - BRADEN LOOPER

    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: A KENNEDY (.160, 0 HR, 0 RBI)
    Y MOLINA (.233, 0 HR, 3 RBI)
    B LOOPER (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Apr 15 2:50 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY ALBERT PUJOLS (2) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 1ST OFF BEN SHEETS SCORED DAVID ECKSTEIN AND CHRIS DUNCAN.
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 2, ST LOUIS 3
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: S ROLEN (.200, 1 HR, 7 RBI)

    Brewers vs. CardinalsApr 15 2:37 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    MILWAUKEE 2 2 3 0
    ST LOUIS 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: MIL - BEN SHEETS
    STL - BRADEN LOOPER

    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: D ECKSTEIN (.282, 0 HR, 2 RBI)
    C DUNCAN (.345, 2 HR, 4 RBI)
    A PUJOLS (.158, 1 HR, 2 RBI)

    Brewers vs. CardinalsApr 15 2:31 PM