for this game

Pujols smacks two homers to power Cardinals

Apr 10, 2008 - 5:01 AM By Ted Dunnam PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Batting .379 entering Wednesday's game, Albert Pujols certainly wasn't in a slump. It's just that the St. Louis slugger is more accustomed to hitting the ball a much greater distance than he has been.

Pujols blasted his first two home runs of the season and contributed a run-scoring single as the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Houston Astros, 6-4, on Wednesday night.

Pujols belted a 1-0 pitch from Dave Borkowski to deep left-center field to lead off the seventh inning and then started the ninth with an opposite-field shot off Oscar Villarreal.

The blasts represented the 21st multiple home run game in Pujols' career.

"I came out early today ... earlier than normal and I watched a couple of videos," Pujols said. "I made some adjustments at the plate because of some things that I saw the last couple of games that I was doing here.

"I knew what I was doing wrong. It's a good thing that I picked it up early, and I felt good out there and had success today. I was seeing the ball better, and I'm glad I was able to help my team out to win today."

Borkowski just didn't want to be the first one to accommodate Pujols.

"He's a great hitter, and if you make a mistake he makes you pay for it," Borkowski said. "I didn't execute my pitch. I wanted to throw a sinker down and away, and I threw it right down the middle.

"If you make your pitches, then you've got a chance to get him out."

For the Astros, it's probably a good sign Pujols is leaving town.

"I think that first one felt good, but the second one was even better because it came in the ninth inning," Pujols said. "Getting another extra run to work with, I think it was great."

Houston's Michael Bourn delivered a two-out RBI double in the seventh inning to pull the Astros within 5-4, but Cardinals reliever Ryan Franklin retired Hunter Pence with runners at second and third to prevent further damage.

Cardinals starter Braden Looper (2-0) pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing five hits and three earned runs.

"It was frustrating in the sixth inning," Looper said. "I felt like I was cruising pretty good and I made a lot of good pitches to their key guys, and in that last inning I made a few mistakes there.

"I felt better today than I did last time. I felt better mechanically, I felt better physically. It's just kind of unfortunate at the end there I just made a few bad pitches to the wrong guys."

Houston's Chris Sampson (0-1) departed the game after just 67 pitches, suffering from flu-like symptoms.

"I was tired, drained, but I was taking the ball," Sampson said. "I went as long as I could as hard as I could.

"It's very frustrating ... flu-like symptoms. It's tough to breathe, you're coughing stuff up, and your nose is running. I felt weak all week long and I ran out of gas."

Jason Isringhausen pitched a scoreless ninth for the second straight night for his fifth save in as many outings.

The Cardinals' first three batters - Skip Schumaker, Chris Duncan and Pujols - each singled to start the game. Pujols' hit scored Schumaker, and Troy Glaus's one-out single drove home Duncan for a 2-0 lead.

St. Louis added another run in the third when Duncan walked, moved to second on Pujols' groundout and scored on Rick Ankiel's opposite-field double. Ankiel also singled home Schumaker in the fifth for a 4-0 cushion.

Houston pushed across its first run in the fifth after a leadoff double by Miguel Tejada, who eventually scored on Mark Loretta's flyout.

The Astros trimmed the lead to 4-3 in the sixth on consecutive two-out doubles by Pence and Lance Berkman and a single from Carlos Lee.

Then Pujols answered, which was no surprise to Cardinals manager Tony La Russa.

"He plays with an edge all the time. He's a great player," La Russa said. "He's a fierce competitor, he keeps it really simple.

"He's just a winning player."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ST LOUIS 2 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 6 12 1
    HOUSTON 0 0 0 0 1 2 1 0 0 4 6 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: STL - BRADEN LOOPER, KYLE MCCLELLAN (6TH), RANDY FLORES (7TH), RYAN
    FRANKLIN (7TH), JASON ISRINGHAUSEN (9TH) AND YADIER MOLINA
    HOU - CHRIS SAMPSON, BRIAN MOEHLER (5

    Apr 9 11:14 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ALBERT PUJOLS (2) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 9TH OFF OSCAR VILLARREAL.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 6, HOUSTON 4
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: R ANKIEL (.324, 2-FOR-4, 2 RBI)

    Cardinals 6, Astros 4  Top 9, 0 OutsApr 9 10:55 PM
  • 0
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Cardinals 6, Astros 4  Top 9, 0 OutsApr 9 10:55 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Cardinals 5, Astros 4  Top 9, 0 OutsApr 9 10:54 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MICHAEL BOURN SCORED J.R. TOWLES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M BOURN ON SECOND, T PEREZ ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 5
    HOUSTON 4 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: H PENCE (.190, 1-FOR-3)

    Cardinals 5, Astros 4  Bot 7, 0 OutsApr 9 10:35 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ALBERT PUJOLS (1) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 7TH OFF DAVE BORKOWSKI.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 5, HOUSTON 3
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: R ANKIEL (.333, 2-FOR-3, 2 RBI)

    Cardinals 5, Astros 3  Top 7, 0 OutsApr 9 10:07 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CARLOS LEE SCORED LANCE BERKMAN.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C LEE ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 4
    HOUSTON 3 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M TEJADA (.286, 1-FOR-2)

    Cardinals 4, Astros 3  Bot 6, 0 OutsApr 9 10:07 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY LANCE BERKMAN SCORED HUNTER PENCE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, L BERKMAN ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 4
    HOUSTON 2 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C LEE (.263, 0-FOR-2)

    Cardinals 4, Astros 2  Bot 6, 0 OutsApr 9 10:06 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    FLY OUT BY MARK LORETTA SCORED MIGUEL TEJADA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 4
    HOUSTON 1 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: J TOWLES (.227, 0-FOR-1)

    Cardinals 4, Astros 1  Bot 5, 0 OutsApr 9 9:34 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RICK ANKIEL SCORED SKIP SCHUMAKER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R ANKIEL ON FIRST, A PUJOLS ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 4
    HOUSTON 0 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: T GLAUS (.267, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Cardinals 4, Astros 0  Top 5, 0 OutsApr 9 9:23 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY RICK ANKIEL SCORED CHRIS DUNCAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R ANKIEL ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 3
    HOUSTON 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: T GLAUS (.276, 1-FOR-1, RBI)

    Cardinals 3, Astros 0  Top 3, 0 OutsApr 9 8:53 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: STL - BRADEN LOOPER
    HOU - CHRIS SAMPSON

    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M BOURN (.212, 0 HR, 1 RBI)
    H PENCE (.179, 0 HR, 1 RBI)
    L BERKMAN (.241, 2 HR, 4 RBI)

    Cardinals 2, Astros 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsApr 9 8:20 PM