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Washington «4120001008100
St. Louis010010010351

Pujols ties MLB record with 13th round-tripper in April

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- Albert Pujols' record-tying 13th home run in April did nothing to bolster the spirits of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Pujols' eighth-inning blast tied the major league record for the month, but Nick Johnson and Ryan Zimmerman hit two-run homers in the first inning in the Washington Nationals' 8-3 victory on Friday night.

"This is about the Cardinals playing the Nationals and we got beat, so it's a bad night," manager Tony La Russa said. "Now, individually that is historic. But that doesn't make it an OK night, it makes it a bad night with a real highlight."

Pujols' drive came off a 2-0 pitch from Felix Rodriguez and matched the mark shared by Ken Griffey Jr. in 1997 with Seattle and Luis Gonzalez in 2001 with Arizona. It was Pujols' first homer in four games and left him with two games this month to break the record.

"I don't care about the home run," Pujols said. "It would have been great if I would have hit it and we would have won.

"It's just another home run for me."

Nationals manager Frank Robinson, who hit 586 career homers, knew better.

"Yeah, I can appreciate it," Robinson said. "You just make a slight mistake with him and don't get the ball exactly where you want it, he makes you pay."

Pujols also had an RBI single in the fifth and leads the majors with 31 RBI to go with a .351 average.

Tony Armas (2-2) worked six solid innings for Washington, which ended a five-game losing streak. The Nationals totaled 10 runs during their skid. Johnson also had an RBI single in the second to raise his average to an NL-best .373, and Royce Clayton doubled twice and scored.

"It was awesome," Armas said. "Everything came together: hitting, pitching, everything. It's great just to win a game and hopefully it's the beginning."

Skip Schumaker snapped an 0-for-19 slump with an RBI double in the second, but it wasn't nearly enough to overcome a shaky outing from Jason Marquis.

The Cardinals played their fourth straight game without third baseman Scott Rolen, who remained at home with an upper respiratory ailment. St. Louis fell to 6-2 with two games left in a 10-game homestand and 10-4 at new Busch Stadium, every game a sellout.

Both of the losses on the homestand have gone to Marquis (3-2), who got Alfonso Soriano to pop up for the game's first out, but struggled thereafter. Johnson hit his sixth homer and Zimmerman his third for a 4-0 lead, the Nationals made it 5-0 on Johnson's RBI single in the second and 7-1 in the third on Soriano's two-run single.

"It's nice to score a lot of runs, but that's a good team," Johnson said. "You've got to keep plugging and keep battling."

Brian Schneider added a run-scoring single off Josh Hancock in the seventh.

Armas allowed two runs and four hits with five strikeouts and three walks. Marquis labored throughout in his worst start of the season, surrendering seven runs and eight hits with four walks and three strikeouts.

"I put my team in a hole early and couldn't get out of it," Marquis said. "I just didn't do my job."

Zimmerman, whose first career error at third base came one at-bat before Jim Edmonds' first-inning three-run homer on Thursday, also made the defensive play of the game. Zimmerman made a leaping catch of Yadier Molina's liner down the line, then tossed to first to double off John Rodriguez.

Notes

  • In his first four starts, Marquis allowed three homers in 25 1/3 innings.
  • The Nationals' losing streak ended one shy of a season-worst six-game skid from April 9-14.
  • Armas is 1-2 with a 5.13 ERA against the Cardinals.
  • For the first time in five games, the Cardinals failed to score in the first, leaving two runners on when Scott Spiezio took a called third strike for the third out.
  • Nationals CF Ryan Church left the game after five innings, suffering from flu-like symptoms.
 
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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Albert Pujols' 13 homers in April tie the major league record set by Ken Griffey Jr. and Luis Gonzalez.  (AP)
Albert Pujols' 13 homers in April tie the major league record set by Ken Griffey Jr. and Luis Gonzalez. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

A. Pujols
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Washington

N. Johnson
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
 

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Washington Nationals
Alfonso Soriano, LF3012211 .323
Jose Vidro, 2B4110003 .349
Nick Johnson, 1B5123001 .373
Jose Guillen, RF5000003 .235
Ryan Church, CF2100113 .244
    Marlon Byrd, CF2110000 .189
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B5222010 .241
Brian Schneider, C4011010 .183
Royce Clayton, SS3220101 .269
Tony J. Armas, P1000001 .000
    Mike Stanton, P0000000 .000
   a- Damian Jackson, PH1000000 .188
    Felix Rodriguez, P0000000 .000
    Chad Cordero, P0000000 .000
Totals3581084413 
a-grounded out for Stanton in the 8th
Batting
2B - Royce Clayton 2 (5, Marquis, Marquis)
HR - Nick Johnson (6, Marquis), Ryan Zimmerman (3, Marquis)
SH - Tony J. Armas 2 (2)
RBI - Alfonso Soriano 2 (15), Nick Johnson 3 (14), Ryan Zimmerman 2 (16), Brian Schneider (7)
2-OUT RBI - Alfonso Soriano 2 (8), Ryan Zimmerman 2 (5), Brian Schneider (5)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Zimmerman-N. Johnson
Washington Nationals
Tony J. Armas (W,2-2) 6422350 2.76
Mike Stanton 1000010 1.80
Felix Rodriguez 1111111 5.27
Chad Cordero 1000010 2.70
HBP - Eckstein (by Tony J. Armas)
Pitches-Strikes - Tony J. Armas 108-67, Mike Stanton 10-6, Felix Rodriguez 19-9, Chad Cordero 10-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tony J. Armas 4-8, Mike Stanton 1-1, Felix Rodriguez 1-1, Chad Cordero 1-1
Batters Faced - Tony J. Armas 25, Mike Stanton 3, Felix Rodriguez 5, Chad Cordero 3
St. Louis Cardinals
David Eckstein, SS3110021 .330
    Randy Flores, P0000000 .000
    Brad Thompson, P0000000 .000
Aaron Miles, 2B4000001 .280
Albert Pujols, 1B4122001 .351
Jim Edmonds, CF2000221 .194
Scott Spiezio, 3B3000123 .233
John Rodriguez, LF3110111 .360
Yadier Molina, C4000002 .158
Skip Schumaker, RF4011000 .179
Jason Marquis, P2000001 .143
    Josh Hancock, P0000000 .000
   a- John Gall, PH1000000 .000
    Hector Luna, SS1000010 .390
Totals313534811 
a-popped out for Hancock in the 7th
Batting
2B - Skip Schumaker (1, Armas)
HR - Albert Pujols (13, F. Rodriguez)
RBI - Albert Pujols 2 (31), Skip Schumaker (2)
2-OUT RBI - Albert Pujols (12)
SB - David Eckstein (2, 2nd base off Armas/Schneider)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Eckstein-Pujols
PB - Yadier Molina (2)
E - Scott Spiezio (1, misplayed grounder)
St. Louis Cardinals
Jason Marquis (L,3-2) 5877432 5.04
Josh Hancock 2211000 3.07
Randy Flores 1000010 2.84
Brad Thompson 1000000 0.87
HBP - Vidro (by Jason Marquis)
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Marquis 94-55, Josh Hancock 25-15, Randy Flores 19-13, Brad Thompson 8-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Marquis 8-4, Josh Hancock 5-0, Randy Flores 2-1, Brad Thompson 2-1
Batters Faced - Jason Marquis 28, Josh Hancock 7, Randy Flores 4, Brad Thompson 3
Game Information
Attendance - 40841
Game Time - 2:51
Temperature - 69
Umpires - Home - Bob Davidson, First Base - Bill Welke, Second Base - Tim McClelland, Third Base - Marty Foster