ST. LOUIS(AP) Arizona starter
right where he wanted him Friday night, leading off two innings with no one to drive in.
But Pujols still managed to do all the damage he could and his two solo homers were enough to lead the St. Louis Cardinals
to a 6-1 victory over the Diamondbacks.
The multi home run game was the eighth for Pujols, who leads the majors with 34 homers and 89 RBIs. He has 31 multi home run
games in his career.
''I had him in the situation that I wanted every time,'' Garland said. ''Nobody on, leading off innings and he caught me.
What are you going to do?''
Pujols spent Wednesday and Thursday resting after being the face of the All-Star Game earlier in the week and he was ready
to get back to work.
''I felt good,'' Pujols said. ''Obviously, a couple of days off, you can't go wrong. But you can't think about that; your
main focus is to make sure you're ready to go.''
(8-3) blanked the Diamondbacks over eight innings, allowing seven hits and striking out seven.
''Early on, I left some balls in the middle of the plate that they hit,'' Carpenter said. ''But I felt like I got better.''
''It goes to show what a competitor he is,'' St. Louis manager
Tony La Russa
hit a homer off reliever
for Arizona's only run.
drove in two runs and extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a two-run single, and
hit a two-run pinch homer for St. Louis.
matched his career high with four hits, all singles.
Pujols, who struck out in his first at-at, led off the fourth against Garland (5-9) by hitting a pitch 386 feet into the Cardinals'
bullpen in right.
When Pujols came up to lead off the sixth, Garland appeared like he would pitch around him, with his first three pitches out
of the strike zone. But Garland threw his next one over the plate and Pujols swatted it 435 feet off the facade of the upper
deck in left field.
Although it was his first home run this off a 3-0 count, Pujols said he was not surprised to get a strike.
''Why should I be surprised?'' he asked. ''You have to be ready every pitch.''
Garland expected Pujols to be hacking.
''They were going to let him swing,'' he said. ''I knew that.''
The Diamondbacks took no such chances an inning later, as reliever
intentionally walked Pujols with two outs and runners on first and third to load the bases. That backfired when Ludwick dumped
a single to right off reliever
to make it 4-0.
Pujols had one more chance in the eighth but he flied out to left against
with runners on first and second and two outs.
''He's tough to deal with,'' Arizona manager A.J. Hinch said. ''He's one of the best hitters in baseball, if not the best
hitter in baseball. He made us pay a couple of times.''
Garland went six innings, allowing two runs and seven hits.
NOTES: Cardinals INF
has been sent to Double A Springfield to begin an injury rehabilitation assignment. In 47 games, Greene is hitting .200 in
130 at-bats with five home runs and 19 RBIs. ... Arizona OF Jason Upton, fresh off his first All-Star game, struck out his
first three plate appearances and finished 0 for 4. ... Molina picked
off first in the sixth, his six pickoff this season and 32nd of his career. ... The intentional walk was Pujols' 33rd, tops
in the majors.