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Cincinnati at St. Louis

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Cardinals 12, Reds 6

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- Albert Pujols reached a couple of homer milestones, helping the St. Louis Cardinals get back on track heading into the postseason.

Pujols hit a grand slam in the seventh inning for his 40th homer of the season and the 200th of his career, rescuing a pitching staff that surrendered 10 walks in the first six innings of a 12-6 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night.

"Sometimes you get what you deserve," manager Tony La Russa said. "For 40 to be 200, and to be a grand slam, it's like it's in the movies."

Reggie Sanders' two-run double snapped a sixth-inning tie and David Eckstein matched his season high with four hits, drove in two runs and had a steal for the Cardinals. St. Louis (98-62) is 4-8 since clinching the NL Central and needs to sweep the season-ending three-game series to reach 100 victories in consecutive seasons for only the second time in franchise history.

"I know we haven't been playing the way we want the last week or so but that's part of the season," Pujols said. "We've been so consistent this year. Hopefully we bounce back, we pick it up."

Pujols' first homer since Sept. 8 came off Matt Belisle in the seventh and put the Cardinals ahead 11-4. He has four career grand slams and this one made him, at 25 years and 257 days, the third-fastest player to reach 200 homers, behind only Hall of Famers Mel Ott and Eddie Mathews.

In terms of games played, he's the second-fastest to 200 at four years and 181 days, trailing only Ralph Kiner, who did it in four years, 119 days.

"It doesn't matter," Pujols said. "If I would have had it tonight or next year, it's just a home run, just like the 199th home run I hit before that. It's about winning."

Pujols added an RBI single in the fourth to tie his career best of five RBI.

Mark Mulder, a 16-game winner who will start Game 2 of the playoffs, matched his career high with seven walks in his second consecutive shaky outing. He faced 21 batters in four innings, and only nine of them put the ball in play -- he also had five strikeouts.

"I had really good stuff, I just couldn't throw any strikes with anything," Mulder said. "It was a little frustrating just because I felt so good."

Edwin Encarnacion, who was 2-for-2 with three walks, walked both at-bats against Mulder.

"I think the ball moved too much today," Encarnacion said. "I was looking for strikes and he didn't give them to me."

Mark McGwire made his first appearance at Busch Stadium this season as part of a final-weekend reunion at the 40-year-old ballpark. He participated in the stadium countdown, removing the number '3' from the right-field wall after the end of the fifth.

Felipe Lopez had two hits and two RBI for the Reds, who have lost five of six. He also committed two errors on a grounder in the eighth, one for fielding and one for a wild throw that allowed Hector Luna to go to second.

Al Reyes (4-2) entered with none out and the bases loaded in the sixth and struck out the 4-5-6 hitters, Rich Aurilia, Jason LaRue and Austin Kearns, in succession.

Mulder gave up five hits and three runs, but none were earned as a result of his fielding error on Ryan Freel's two-out bases-loaded grounder in the fourth that allowed the Reds' first run to score. The next batter, Lopez, hit a two-run single that put Cincinnati ahead 3-2.

In his last two outings, Mulder has lasted 5 2/3 innings and surrendered 10 runs -- seven earned. He loaded the bases on walks in the fourth, then had a chance to escape on consecutive forceouts at the plate before the error.

"I'm ready to go," Mulder said. "This won't happen in the playoffs."

Sanders, who returned from a broken leg on Sept. 12, struggled with his timing for a while. But in his last four games he has two homers, two doubles and seven RBI.

Sanders' opposite-field two-run double with two outs off Luke Hudson (6-9) snapped a 4-all tie in the sixth.

Reds starter Randy Keisler lasted 3 1/3 innings and gave up four runs and nine hits. Eight of the runs against the Reds were unearned.

"It just got away from us," manager Jerry Narron said. "With the lineup they have, you can't afford to give outs."

Notes

Cardinals reliever Ray King was ejected after walking Adam Dunn on a full count with the bases loaded in the sixth. Before leaving, King went to the plate to talk to plate umpire Travis Reininger. ... McGwire had two entries on the list of top-10 memories at Busch Stadium as decided by on-line fan voting, No. 2 for his 62nd homer in 1998 and No. 10 for his 70th that year. The No. 1 memory was Ozzie Smith's game-winning home run off the Dodgers' Tom Niedenfuer in the 1985 playoffs. ... Members of the 1985 team were honored before the game, arriving at home plate in convertibles. ... Mark Grudzielanek recorded his 500th career RBI on an infield hit in the third.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Players of the Game
St. Louis

D. Eckstein
AB 5
R 2
H 4
HR 0
RBI 2
St. Louis

A. Pujols
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 5
 
Cincinnati Reds
Ryan Freel, LF4000122 .274
Felipe Lopez, SS4022110 .290
Adam Dunn, 1B3001223 .250
Rich Aurilia, 2B5120023 .282
Jason LaRue, C4000126 .260
Austin Kearns, RF4120113 .237
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B2121300 .232
Chris Denorfia, CF4100107 .241
Randy Keisler, P2100015 .267
    Luke Hudson, P1110000 .320
    Brian Shackelford, P0000000 .000
   a- Ray Olmedo, PH1000000 .211
    Matt Belisle, P0000000 .143
    Joe Valentine, P0000000 .000
   b- Jacob Cruz, PH1000001 .238
Totals35694101130 
a-grounded out for Shackelford in the 7th
b-grounded out for Valentine in the 9th
Batting
2B - Austin Kearns (25, Tavarez), Luke Hudson (2, Thompson)
RBI - Felipe Lopez 2 (82), Adam Dunn (100), Edwin Encarnacion (29)
2-OUT RBI - Felipe Lopez 2 (34)
CS - Felipe Lopez (7, 2nd base by Mulder/Molina)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Ryan Freel 1
DP - Encarnacion-Aurilia-Dunn
PB - Jason LaRue (6)
E - Rich Aurilia (10, ), Matt Belisle (2, Wild throw), Adam Dunn (9, Missed catch), Felipe Lopez 2 (17, Fileidng error and a throwing erorr)
Cincinnati Reds
Randy Keisler 3.1944220 6.27
Luke Hudson (L,6-9) 2.1220110 6.38
Brian Shackelford 0.1100000 2.43
Matt Belisle 1450011 4.41
Joe Valentine 1110000 8.16
Pitches-Strikes - Randy Keisler 84-53, Luke Hudson 30-19, Brian Shackelford 2-2, Matt Belisle 25-19, Joe Valentine 22-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Keisler 3-5, Luke Hudson 4-2, Matt Belisle 1-2, Joe Valentine 3-1
Batters Faced - Randy Keisler 21, Luke Hudson 10, Brian Shackelford 1, Matt Belisle 8, Joe Valentine 5
St. Louis Cardinals
David Eckstein, SS5242000 .296
    John Gall, LF0000000 .270
Jim Edmonds, CF1111100 .263
   a- So Taguchi, PH-CF3210012 .287
Albert Pujols, 1B4225102 .330
    Einar Diaz, C0000000 .208
Reggie Sanders, LF4012014 .267
    Cal Eldred, P0000000 .000
   b- Chris Duncan, PH1000000 .111
    Randy Flores, P0000000 .000
    Julian Tavarez, P0000000 .000
Larry Walker, RF2000112 .283
    Al Reyes, P0000000 .000
   c- John Rodriguez, PH0000000 .295
   d- Hector Luna, PH-RF^SS2110001 .276
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B5031000 .291
Yadier Molina, C4100003 .253
   e- John Mabry, PH-1B0001000 .241
Abraham Nunez, 3B5120012 .283
Mark Mulder, P1000001 .145
   f- Scott Seabol, PH1110000 .219
    Brad Thompson, P0000000 .167
    Ray King, P0000000 .000
    Skip Schumaker, RF-LF^RF3110001 .273
Totals411217123418 
a-struck out for Edmonds in the 4th
b-lined out for Eldred in the 7th
c-announced for Reyes in the 6th
d-singled for Rodriguez in the 6th
e-hit a sacrifice fly for Molina in the 8th
f-singled for Mulder in the 4th
Batting
2B - Reggie Sanders (13, Hudson)
HR - Albert Pujols (40, Belisle)
SF - John Mabry (2)
RBI - David Eckstein 2 (60), Jim Edmonds (89), Albert Pujols 5 (115), Reggie Sanders 2 (51), Mark Grudzielanek (57), John Mabry (32)
2-OUT RBI - David Eckstein (34), Albert Pujols 4 (37), Reggie Sanders 2 (27), Mark Grudzielanek (19)
SB - David Eckstein (11, 3rd base off Keisler/LaRue), Jim Edmonds (5, 3rd base off Keisler/LaRue)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Eckstein-Grudzielanek-Pujols
PB - Einar Diaz (4)
E - Mark Mulder (2, Misplayed grounder)
St. Louis Cardinals
Mark Mulder 4230750 3.64
Brad Thompson 1211210 3.00
Ray King (BS,6)0100100 3.40
Al Reyes (W,4-2) 1000030 2.18
Cal Eldred (H,2) 1100000 1.98
Randy Flores 1000020 3.51
Julian Tavarez 1322000 3.53
WP - Mark Mulder (9)
Pitches-Strikes - Mark Mulder 91-46, Brad Thompson 27-15, Ray King 8-3, Al Reyes 17-10, Cal Eldred 14-9, Randy Flores 12-8, Julian Tavarez 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mark Mulder 6-1, Brad Thompson 2-0, Cal Eldred 2-0, Randy Flores 1-0, Julian Tavarez 2-1
Batters Faced - Mark Mulder 21, Brad Thompson 7, Ray King 2, Al Reyes 3, Cal Eldred 3, Randy Flores 3, Julian Tavarez 6
Game Information
Attendance - 47257
Game Time - 3:32
Temperature - 67
Umpires - Home - Travis Reininger, First Base - Gerry Davis, Second Base - Ron Kulpa, Third Base - Derryl Cousins