St. Louis at Chicago

St. Louis
Chi. Cubs
W: C. Carpenter (7-3) L: R. Harden (5-6)
HR: STL - A. Pujols (32)   CHC - D. Lee (17)

Pujols connects on 32nd homer as Cards pound Cubs wire reports

CHICAGO -- Home runs come a lot easier than triples for Albert Pujols.

The St. Louis star managed one of each Friday as the Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 8-3 to kick off the final weekend before the All-Star break.

"I was a little tired, but I don't mind," Pujols said of legging out his first three-bagger since September 2007, to help the Cardinals build an early a 3-0 lead.

His liner went into the left-fielder corner where Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano had trouble picking it up.

"When I hit it I was actually thinking it was a double. I saw [Alfonso] Soriano bobble it once, so I had a pretty good opportunity to keep going," Pujols said.

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After Chicago tied it on Derrek Lee's three-run homer, Pujols put first-place St. Louis up for good with his 32nd homer, a drive to straightaway center in the fifth that landed in a basket above the ivy-covered wall.

"He's dangerous at the plate and on the base paths, too," Chicago starter and loser Rich Harden said. "He's one of the smartest baserunners out there."

Pujols reached base four times, as did teammate Ryan Ludwick, who drove in four runs. Ludwick has regrouped after coming off the disabled list (hamstring) in May.

"For a four- or-five week period when I came back, I couldn't hit water if I fell out of a boat," Ludwick said. "I just felt [today] like we put together good at-bats."

Chris Carpenter (7-3) worked six innings, allowing seven hits and three runs with six strikeouts. The Cardinals' ace improved his career record against the Cubs to 9-3, including 6-2 at Wrigley Field.

The victory put the first-place Cardinals eight games over .500 and knocked the struggling Cubs 4½ games out of the lead in the NL Central. St. Louis has now won the opener on each of its three stops on a 10-game road trip.

"That's how you want to start a series," Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa said.

Harden (5-6) threw 101 pitches in five innings, giving up seven hits and four runs. Aaron Heilman relieved in the sixth and the Cardinals quickly added four more runs.

St. Louis loaded the bases on a single and two walks and Ludwick delivered a two-run single that put St. Louis up 6-3.

Rick Ankiel walked to reload the bases and the Cards got another run when Soriano couldn't hold Yadier Molina's shallow fly. No error was charged on the play because Soriano picked the ball up and was able to force Ankiel at second. Heilman then threw a wild pitch to allow the fourth run to cross.

"At the last moment my eyes went off the ball," Soriano said. "The way we played today, we're not supposed to play like that."

Harden agreed.

"It was embarrassing today, you know. We were outplayed and outhustled," he said.

Lee's three-run homer, an opposite-field drive to the right-field bleachers, followed singles by Harden and Ryan Theriot, was his 17th of the season. That was by far the Cubs' highlight as they lost their third straight.

"We didn't play well," he said. "It was a little disappointing, knowing the importance of this series. ... Just like that, you're 4½ back. It's dangerous territory."

Ludwick had a sacrifice fly in the first and three singles for St. Louis.


  • Carpenter has allowed only four homers all season.
  • Pujols drew an intentional walk in the first, his 32nd this season.
  • Mark DeRosa, who spent the previous two seasons with the Cubs, returned to Wrigley Field sooner than expected. DeRosa was with the Indians three weeks ago when they visited for an interleague series. On Friday he was back in Chicago with the Cardinals, who acquired him from Cleveland in a June 27 trade. "It's kind of weird," said DeRosa, who is on the disabled list with a wrist injury. "I found myself on a last place team and within a couple of days I'm in first place in the NL Central, battling against the Cubs."
Copyright 2017 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.
This one has the distance. Albert Pujols gives the Cards the lead with a homer off Rich Harden. (AP)
This one has the distance. Albert Pujols gives the Cards the lead with a homer off Rich Harden. (AP)

Players of the Game

D. Lee
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
St. Louis

A. Pujols
AB 3
R 3
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

St. Louis Cardinals
Skip Schumaker, 2B5120014 .302
Colby Rasmus, CF3210123 .281
Albert Pujols, 1B3322202 .336
Ryan Ludwick, RF3134100 .251
Rick Ankiel, LF4000113 .221
Yadier Molina, C5001013 .279
Joe Thurston, 3B4010102 .225
Chris Carpenter, P2000123 .136
   a- Jarrett Hoffpauir, PH0000100 .375
    Kyle McClellan, P0000000 .000
    Jason Motte, P0000000 .000
   b- Chris Duncan, PH1000000 .237
    Josh Kinney, P0000000 .000
    Ryan Franklin, P0000000 .000
Brendan Ryan, SS3110101 .299
a-walked for Carpenter in the 7th
b-popped out for Motte in the 9th
2B - Skip Schumaker (19, Harden)
3B - Albert Pujols (1, Harden)
HR - Albert Pujols (32, Harden)
SF - Ryan Ludwick (3)
SH - Colby Rasmus (5), Brendan Ryan (4)
RBI - Albert Pujols 2 (85), Ryan Ludwick 4 (51), Yadier Molina (29)
Team LOB - 10
St. Louis Cardinals
Chris Carpenter (W,7-3) 6733261 2.47
Kyle McClellan 1000000 2.63
Jason Motte 1100010 4.73
Josh Kinney 0.2100100 8.00
Ryan Franklin 0.1000000 0.82
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Carpenter 93-61, Kyle McClellan 18-11, Jason Motte 12-7, Josh Kinney 16-8, Ryan Franklin 2-1
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Carpenter 3-9, Kyle McClellan 2-1, Josh Kinney 2-0, Ryan Franklin 1-0
Batters Faced - Chris Carpenter 27, Kyle McClellan 3, Jason Motte 4, Josh Kinney 4, Ryan Franklin 1
Chicago Cubs
Reed Johnson, CF5000014 .254
Ryan Theriot, SS4120100 .294
Kosuke Fukudome, RF5000003 .260
Derrek Lee, 1B3113101 .280
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4010000 .341
Alfonso Soriano, LF3010102 .231
Mike Fontenot, 2B4010032 .231
Koyie Hill, C4000022 .228
Rich Harden, P2120000 .304
    Aaron Heilman, P0000000 .000
   a- Jeff Baker, PH1000010 .107
    Jeff Samardzija, P0000000 .000
    Jeff Stevens, P0000000 .000
   b- Micah Hoffpauir, PH1010000 .247
a-struck out for Heilman in the 6th
b-doubled for Stevens in the 9th
2B - Alfonso Soriano (19, Motte), Micah Hoffpauir (8, Kinney)
HR - Derrek Lee (17, Carpenter)
RBI - Derrek Lee 3 (56)
2-OUT RBI - Derrek Lee 3 (19)
Team LOB - 9
Outfield Assists - Alfonso Soriano 1
DP - Fontenot-Theriot-Lee
E - Aramis Ramirez (2, Missed catch of throw), Jeff Samardzija (1, Misplayed grounder)
Chicago Cubs
Rich Harden (L,5-6) 5744461 5.47
Aaron Heilman 1244300 4.35
Jeff Samardzija 2100210 4.82
Jeff Stevens 1000000 0.00
IBB - Pujols by Rich Harden, by Thurston
WP - Rich Harden (3), Aaron Heilman (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Rich Harden 101-60, Aaron Heilman 34-14, Jeff Samardzija 32-19, Jeff Stevens 12-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rich Harden 4-5, Aaron Heilman 2-1, Jeff Samardzija 3-1, Jeff Stevens 1-2
Batters Faced - Rich Harden 26, Aaron Heilman 8, Jeff Samardzija 8, Jeff Stevens 3
Game Information
Attendance - 40687
Game Time - 2:57
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Lance Barksdale, First Base - Angel Hernandez, Second Base - Dan Bellino, Third Base - Marvin Hudson