Albert Pujols is closing on in 2,000 career hits. It only seems like he's gotten the bulk of them at PNC Park.
With a milestone in sight, Pujols will try to lift the St. Louis Cardinals to a second straight road win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday night.
Pujols matched a season high with four hits, including a two-run homer off Paul Maholm to open the scoring in Friday's 6-4 victory.
The three-time NL MVP is hitting .393 at PNC Park, which opened the same year as Pujols' rookie season in 2001. The 127 hits, 27 homers and 79 RBIs are the most he's recorded at any stadium outside St. Louis.
"Let me tell you, look at all ballparks, he does it every place he plays," said St. Louis manager Tony La Russa. "He's just a phenomenal hitter. There's nothing special about here; he just hits everywhere."
Pujols is within eight hits of becoming the fifth Cardinal with 2,000, joining Hall of Famers Stan Musial, Lou Brock, Rogers Hornsby and Enos Slaughter.
Pujols' latest homer was his fourth on this nine-game road trip, 22nd of the season and 430th of his career. He needs one more to tie Cal Ripken for 40th all time.
"(Pujols) is going to put the barrel on it and he can ride," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "He can square up a lot of different pitches."
David Freese also hit a two-run homer and Yadier Molina added a solo shot among three hits for the Cardinals (52-47), who improved to 3-4 on their trip.
Garrett Jones had two hits and two RBIs for the Pirates (51-46), who now look to avoid losing three in a row for the first time since a four-game skid June 17-20.
Pujols has five hits in 15 at-bats against Kevin Correia (11-7, 4.04 ERA), but has failed to go deep against Saturday's scheduled starter for the Pirates.
Looking for his first win in three starts, Correia will again try to match a career high for victories, set in 2009 with San Diego.
After lasting just 3 2-3 innings in a loss to the Chicago Cubs on July 9, the right-hander didn't register a decision Sunday at Houston. He gave up three runs and five hits in six innings, and also drove in his first two runs of the season in the Pirates' 7-5 loss in 11.
Correia held the Cardinals to five hits in seven scoreless innings, helping Pittsburgh to a 3-1 win April 6 in St. Louis.
Jaime Garcia (9-4, 3.11) will take the ball for the Cardinals.
The left-hander suffered his first loss in six career decisions against Cincinnati on Sunday. He yielded two runs - one earned - and six hits in seven innings of the 3-1 defeat.
In three games with one start against the Pirates, Garcia is 0-1 with an 0.96 ERA. The loss came in his only start against them in Pittsburgh on May 8, 2010, when he allowed a run in seven innings of a 2-0 defeat.