The rookie had his second straight three-hit game, and scored all three times on hits by Pujols, as the St. Louis Cardinals beat up on All-Star starter Brad Penny in an 11-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday.
"I pretty much know they're not going to walk me, so I just try to be aggressive, and when they fall behind I usually get a pitch to hit," Duncan said. "To be able to get some hits and have Albert drive me in is a lot of fun."
Pujols was 4-for-5 with three RBI, Anthony Reyes worked five solid innings and Yadier Molina had three hits and three RBI for the Cardinals, who swept a four-game series from the Dodgers for the first time since winning a pair of doubleheaders on July 7-8, 1987.
St. Louis has won seven in a row, the team's best streak since a nine-game run in 2004. This, after a 9-16 June.
"We really had to grind through and make sure we stayed together and not point fingers and keep our energy up, and we did a good job of that," manager Tony La Russa said. "But this is more fun."
Penny, who worked two innings for the National League in Tuesday's All-Star Game and struck out the side in the first, gave up six runs and 10 hits in five innings against the Cardinals. Penny (10-3) was starting for the first time in 11 days, although he got one out last Sunday in the final game before the break.
Penny refused to use the layoff or the 93-degree heat as excuses.
"I felt fine," he said. "Base hits impacted me."
Penny was looking forward to a rematch against the Cardinals on Friday in Los Angeles.
"It wasn't Pujols that beat me, it was Duncan and that Molina kid," Penny said. "Guys I needed to get out, I didn't get out."
"The road trip to hell, in more ways than one," manager Grady Little said. "We felt like with one swing of the bat in a couple of the games we had a chance to win, but that certainly was not the case today."
Duncan and Pujols were a combined 6-for-6 in the first five innings, Duncan scoring on Pujols' hits each time. Pujols had an RBI double in the first, a run-scoring single in the third that put the Cardinals ahead for good at 3-2, and an RBI double in the fifth.
Pujols has a six-game RBI streak, driving in nine runs in that span. The four-hit game was his third of the season. He was 9-for-17 in the series with a pair of homers, including the game-winner off Odalis Perez in the 14th inning on Thursday.
He added an infield hit against Perez in the seventh, making him 11-for-17 with five homers against the Dodgers reliever. Perez, who accused the team of treating him like "trash" on Thursday, gave up five runs in two innings and has a 7.19 ERA.
"We had plans if the game stayed the way it was at 6-2, that Odalis would pitch for us the last two innings," Little said. "It gets him on the mound a little bit more regularly, which is what he wants."
Molina capped a three-run fifth with a two-run double, his second of the game, for a 6-2 cushion. Scott Spiezio, Molina and So Taguchi each added an RBI against Perez in the seventh. John Rodriguez 's pinch-hit, two-run homer an inning later closed the scoring.
Reyes (2-3) gave up two runs and seven hits, although he piled up 92 pitches in five innings. He has worked five innings in each of his past four starts and had been 0-3 in his past five appearances.
"I just need to find a way to start going deeper into ballgames," Reyes said. "I need to stop using a lot of pitches and try to work ahead in the counts."
- Dodgers infielder Cesar Izturis left for Los Angeles after the game for the birth of his second child on Monday. The team begins a four-game series at Arizona on Monday and will play a man short for a few days.
- Cardinals center fielder Jim Edmonds made a nice running catch at the warning track to rob Andre Ethier of extra bases and perhaps two RBI for the last out in the third.
- Dodgers first baseman Nomar Garciaparra, hitless in the past two games after a 22-game hitting streak and 1-for-13 since the All-Star break, got a day off.
- Cardinals left-hander Randy Flores, who underwent an MRI exam on Friday for elbow pain, threw in the bullpen and could be cleared to pitch on Monday.