St. Louis at Kansas City

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St. Louis «000100030490
Kansas City000000020281

Pujols' three-run home run turns Cards in K.C.

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Albert Pujols had never faced Kansas City reliever Ambiorix Burgos before Saturday night. It didn't affect the Cardinals slugger.

Pujols hit a three-run homer off Burgos in the eighth inning to help St. Louis beat the Royals 4-2 Saturday night.

Pujols, who attended Fort Osage High School just a few miles from Kauffman Stadium, leads the majors with 21 home runs and 53 RBI. Pujols hit the first pitch from Burgos over the center-field fence after David Eckstein walked and Scott Spiezio singled.

"He's amazing," Eckstein said. "He shows up every single day wanting to win bad. It just seems like when it is on him and to keep the momentum on our side, when we need a big hit he comes out and delivers."

Pujols, who hit a two-run homer on Friday in St. Louis' 9-6 victory, entered the series in an 0-for-12 skid. He has homered in back-to-back games seven times this season. He simplified his approach against Burgos.

"See the ball, hit it," Pujols said. "I was not trying to do too much. I got a pretty good pitch to hit and put my best swing the whole night. Our kid (Anthony Reyes) pitched an outstanding game and deserved to win. We got the win and that's the most important thing."

The Cardinals continued their dominance of their cross-state rivals, winning for the ninth time in the past 10 meetings. Kansas City has lost eight straight and dropped to 10-30, the worst record in franchise history after 40 games.

Reyes (1-0), just promoted from Triple-A Memphis and making his second major league start, held the Royals to four singles over 5 2/3 scoreless innings to earn the win. He walked one and struck out one.

"He moved the ball all over the zone and used four pitches," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said. "He pitched to both sides of the plate and had command. He hit the catcher's glove most of the time. That was impressive."

But not impressive enough to keep him in the majors. It was only a spot start because of an injury to Sidney Ponson and La Russa said Reyes would be returning to the minors.

Reyes, a 24-year-old right-hander who was a 15th-round draft pick in 2003 out of Southern California, made his major league debut last Aug. 9 and beat Milwaukee.

"I try to take advantage of every opportunity that I get to pitch up here," Reyes said. "I come up the mind-set not to give them a reason to send me down. I had pretty much everything working. I was able to get ahead in the count."

Jason Isringhausen worked the ninth for his 14th save in 16 opportunities.

Denny Bautista (0-2), making his third start since coming off the disabled list with a strained pectoral muscle, gave up just one run and five hits in six innings. He struck out three, walked none and hit a batter, throwing 61 of his 100 pitches for strikes.

"That is a positive," Royals manager Buddy Bell said. "He was around the plate with most of his pitches."

Scott Rolen led off the St. Louis fourth with a single to center. He stole second, advanced to third on catcher John Buck's throwing error, and scored on Juan Encarnacion's double.

The Royals scored two runs in the eighth to break a 13-inning scoreless drought. Andres Blanco led off the inning with a bunt single and stopped at second on Esteban German's pinch-hit single. Mark Grudzielanek singled off left-hander Randy Flores to score Blanco.

Reggie Sanders doubled to left to drive in German, but shortstop Eckstein threw out Grudzielanek, who ran past third-base coach Luis Silverio's stop sign, at the plate.

"By the time I saw it, I was already running," Grudzielanek said. "I probably would have broke a leg trying to stop. There was no way chance of stopping. I was trying to be aggressive and get some runs across."

Said Bell: "We made some mistakes. You can't make mistakes against this club and get away with it."

Notes

  • Royals SS Angel Berroa, who has struck out 29 times while drawing only one walk and has eight extra-base hits in 143 at-bats, did not start for the first time this season. Blanco, who was called up Friday from Triple-A Omaha, started instead.
  • Rolen was hit by pitches in back-to-back plate appearances. RHP Mike Wood hit Rolen in the ninth inning Friday, and Rolen was plunked leading off the second inning Saturday by Bautista.
  • The Cardinals optioned RHP Brian Falkenborg to Memphis to make room for Reyes.
  • The game was the Royals' second sellout of the season with a crowd of 40,516. Only the opening day attendance of 41,054 was larger.
 
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 gets some love after a three-run shot in the eighth, his second homer in as many days.  (AP)
Albert Pujols gets some love after a three-run shot in the eighth, his second homer in as many days. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

A. Pujols
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
St. Louis

A. Reyes
IP 5.2
H 4
ER 0
BB 1
K 1
 

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St. Louis Cardinals
David Eckstein, SS4120100 .322
Scott Spiezio, DH5110022 .300
Albert Pujols, 1B4113001 .317
Scott Rolen, 3B3120000 .310
Jim Edmonds, CF4010011 .252
Juan Encarnacion, RF3021101 .235
John Rodriguez, LF3000013 .371
    So Taguchi, LF1000012 .237
Yadier Molina, C4000005 .160
Aaron Miles, 2B4000010 .299
Totals354942615 
Batting
2B - David Eckstein (6, D. Bautista), Juan Encarnacion (4, D. Bautista)
HR - Albert Pujols (21, Burgos)
RBI - Albert Pujols 3 (53), Juan Encarnacion (16)
SB - Scott Rolen (3, 3rd base off D. Bautista/Buck)
CS - David Eckstein (2, 2nd base by Dessens/Buck)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - So Taguchi 1
DP - Eckstein-Pujols
PB - Yadier Molina (3)
St. Louis Cardinals
Anthony Reyes (W,1-0) 5.2400110 0.00
Tyler Johnson (H,2) 0.1000010 0.00
Braden Looper (H,4) 1111010 3.45
Randy Flores 0.1211010 4.50
Josh Hancock (H,2) 0.2100000 2.08
Jason Isringhausen (S,14) 1000110 3.94
Pitches-Strikes - Anthony Reyes 81-56, Tyler Johnson 5-3, Braden Looper 11-6, Randy Flores 15-8, Josh Hancock 10-5, Jason Isringhausen 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Anthony Reyes 7-9, Braden Looper 2-0, Josh Hancock 1-0, Jason Isringhausen 1-0
Batters Faced - Anthony Reyes 22, Tyler Johnson 1, Braden Looper 4, Randy Flores 3, Josh Hancock 2, Jason Isringhausen 3
Kansas City Royals
Shane Costa, CF3000000 .309
   a- Esteban German, PH-CF1110000 .407
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B4011000 .306
Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B4020012 .264
Reggie Sanders, RF4021002 .237
Matt Stairs, DH4000013 .212
Emil Brown, LF2010200 .224
Tony Graffanino, 3B4000004 .244
John Buck, C3000021 .253
   b- Paul Bako, PH1000010 .195
Andres Blanco, SS3110000 .333
Totals332822512 
a-singled for Costa in the 8th
b-struck out for Buck in the 9th
Batting
2B - Reggie Sanders (7, Hancock)
RBI - Mark Grudzielanek (8), Reggie Sanders (19)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Buck-Blanco
E - John Buck (3, Wild throw)
Kansas City Royals
Denny Bautista (L,0-2) 6511030 3.75
Ambiorix Burgos 1.1333211 6.53
Joe Nelson 0.2000010 0.00
Elmer Dessens 1100010 2.74
IBB - Encarnacion by Ambiorix Burgos
HBP - Rolen (by Denny Bautista)
Pitches-Strikes - Denny Bautista 100-61, Ambiorix Burgos 32-17, Joe Nelson 6-4, Elmer Dessens 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Denny Bautista 13-2, Ambiorix Burgos 2-1
Batters Faced - Denny Bautista 24, Ambiorix Burgos 9, Joe Nelson 2, Elmer Dessens 3
Game Information
Attendance - 40516
Game Time - 2:56
Temperature - 77
Umpires - Home - Randy Marsh, First Base - Angel Hernandez, Second Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Third Base - Sam Holbrook