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Pujols belts No. 18 in support of Suppan as Cards top Rockies

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- Albert Pujols' first at-bat Wednesday was much like his final trip to the plate the previous night -- another home run against the Colorado Rockies.

Pujols hit his major league-leading 18th homer and Jeff Suppan won his fourth straight start, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 7-4 victory.

"He just keeps piling on the examples," manager Tony La Russa said. "That's what's so great about Albert, he does that and he just turns the page. That's Stan Musial stuff."

Juan Encarnacion also homered for the Cardinals, who took two of three from the NL West leaders and have won five of six overall.

Pujols, who hit a go-ahead, three-run homer on Tuesday, followed John Rodriguez's first-inning single with a drive to left off Byung-Hyun Kim (1-1). Pujols also leads the majors with 43 RBI and the NL with 35 runs scored, and eight of his homers have given the Cardinals the lead.

"I'm being patient at the plate and just taking what they give me," Pujols said. "There's nothing secret."

Pujols reached 18 homers in 35 games, the second-fastest in major league history according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Cy Williams of the Philadelphia Phillies did it in 34 games in 1923.

Suppan (4-2) struck out seven and walked none, allowing three runs and six hits in five innings. After going 0-2 in his first three starts, he has lowered his ERA from 9.00 to 4.58.

"I thought it came down to our offense and the bullpen," Suppan said. "With this team, I was just trying to stay out of the big inning."

Jason Isringhausen got three straight outs for his 10th save in 12 chances.

Kim gave up seven runs and 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings, the shortest of his three starts this season.

"His location had been his best friend but today it was his enemy," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said "His pitch to Pujols, in his defense, wasn't that bad of a pitch. The pitch to Encarnacion was a bad pitch, it was a cement mixer that stayed in the middle of the plate."

Matt Holliday had an RBI single and tripled for the Rockies, going 7-for-12 in the series with three homers. He is 18-for-36 against the Cardinals in his career with five homers and seven RBI.

"Colorado has a great ballclub," Pujols said. "It's pretty exciting to see a club like that, the way they're playing."

The Rockies had won four straight before losing the last two in the series.

"When we made mistakes, we didn't panic over them," Hurdle said. "We're looking out the windshield, we're not looking out the rear view mirror."

Cory Sullivan's RBI single in the third cut the Cardinals' lead in half, but Pujols doubled in the bottom half and scored on Encarnacion's fifth homer for a 4-1 lead.

Gary Bennett's RBI double with two outs in the fifth chased Kim. Rodriguez added a sacrifice fly in the fourth and Aaron Miles, who was 3-for-4, had an RBI single off David Cortes in the fifth that made it 7-3.

Notes

  • The Cardinals are 14-5 at new Busch Stadium, where every game has been a sellout.
  • Rockies starters allowed two runs in 14 2/3 innings the first two games of the series.
  • David Eckstein had three singles for his team-leading 14th multihit game. He also stole his third base in the sixth.
  • Holliday is 3-for-4 against Suppan with two homers and three RBI.
  • Encarnacion had a couple of nice running catches in RF, toppling into the seats after snaring Holliday's fly ball in foul territory to end the fifth.
  • The Cardinals signed RHP Will Cunnane to a contract with Triple-A Memphis, and he was scheduled to start on Wednesday night. Cunnane, 32, last pitched in the minors with the Braves in 2004 and had pitched in the Independent Atlantic League earlier this season.
 
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' 18 HRs and 43 RBI lead the majors while his 35 runs scored top the NL.  (AP)
Albert Pujols' 18 HRs and 43 RBI lead the majors while his 35 runs scored top the NL. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

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

M. Holliday
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Colorado Rockies
Cory Sullivan, CF4121011
Jamey Carroll, 2B4011012
    Ramon Ramirez, P0000000
Todd Helton, 1B4110011
Matt Holliday, LF4121011
Brad Hawpe, RF4001001
Clint Barmes, SS4000011
Jason Smith, 3B4000020
Danny Ardoin, C3120012
    Luis Gonzalez, 2B1000000
Byung-Hyun Kim, P1000000
    David Cortes, P0000000
    Ray King, P0000000
   a- Eli Marrero, PH-C2000010
Totals35484099 
a-grounded out for King in the 7th
Batting
2B - Jamey Carroll (, Suppan), Todd Helton (, Suppan)
3B - Cory Sullivan (, Suppan), Matt Holliday (, Flores)
SH - Byung-Hyun Kim ()
RBI - Cory Sullivan (), Jamey Carroll (), Matt Holliday (), Brad Hawpe ()
2-OUT RBI - Cory Sullivan ()
Team LOB - 5
Colorado Rockies
Byung-Hyun Kim (L,-) 4.21077142
David Cortes 1200000
Ray King 0.1000010
Ramon Ramirez 2100030
Pitches-Strikes - Byung-Hyun Kim 86-62, David Cortes 18-14, Ray King 7-4, Ramon Ramirez 30-23
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Byung-Hyun Kim 4-6, David Cortes 1-2, Ramon Ramirez 2-1
Batters Faced - Byung-Hyun Kim 25, David Cortes 5, Ray King 1, Ramon Ramirez 7
St. Louis Cardinals
David Eckstein, SS5030011
John Rodriguez, LF3111002
    Adam Wainwright, P0000000
    Randy Flores, P0000000
   a- Scott Spiezio, PH1000001
    Jason Isringhausen, P0000000
Albert Pujols, 1B4222012
Jim Edmonds, CF3110112
Scott Rolen, 3B4010002
Juan Encarnacion, RF4112033
Gary Bennett, C4111022
Aaron Miles, 2B4131000
Jeff Suppan, P1000000
   b- Larry Bigbie, PH1000001
    Tyler Johnson, P0000000
    Josh Hancock, P0000000
    So Taguchi, LF0000000
Totals3471371816 
a-grounded out for Flores in the 8th
b-grounded out for Suppan in the 5th
Batting
2B - Albert Pujols (, Kim), Gary Bennett (, Kim)
HR - Albert Pujols (, Kim), Juan Encarnacion (, Kim)
SF - John Rodriguez ()
SH - Jeff Suppan (), So Taguchi ()
RBI - John Rodriguez (), Albert Pujols 2 (), Juan Encarnacion 2 (), Gary Bennett (), Aaron Miles ()
2-OUT RBI - Juan Encarnacion 2 (), Gary Bennett (), Aaron Miles ()
SB - David Eckstein (, 2nd base off King/Ardoin)
Team LOB - 7
St. Louis Cardinals
Jeff Suppan (W,-) 5633070
Tyler Johnson 0.1000000
Josh Hancock 0.2000000
Adam Wainwright 1100010
Randy Flores 1111000
Jason Isringhausen (S,) 1000010
WP - Jeff Suppan 2 ()
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Suppan 85-55, Tyler Johnson 6-4, Josh Hancock 5-3, Adam Wainwright 12-8, Randy Flores 11-8, Jason Isringhausen 13-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Suppan 2-7, Tyler Johnson 1-0, Adam Wainwright 1-1, Randy Flores 2-1, Jason Isringhausen 1-1
Batters Faced - Jeff Suppan 22, Tyler Johnson 1, Josh Hancock 2, Adam Wainwright 4, Randy Flores 4, Jason Isringhausen 3
Game Information
Attendance - 39108
Game Time - 3:01
Temperature - 64
Umpires - Home - Jim Wolf, First Base - Joe West, Second Base - Ed Rapuano, Third Base - Tony Randazzo