|St. Louis (83-57) «||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||0||2||4||8||0|
Hoffman, trying to protect a 3-2 lead, walked Pujols with one out before serving up a 2-1 pitch that Holliday drove over the wall in dead center.
"I've had some good at-bats against him," Holliday said after the Cardinals won for the sixth time in their past seven games at Miller Park, outscoring the Brewers 32-12 in that span. "Anytime against the greatest closer of all time, it's a special home run."
Since the Cardinals acquired Holliday on July 24, they have the majors' best record at 31-11.
"He went down there and got it," Brewers manager Ken Macha said. "When he hit it, he kind of did a little jump step. So, when they do that, they know they hit it well."
The victory gave the Cardinals their 12th series victory in the past 13. The only hiccup was a two-game split with the New York Mets on Aug. 4-5.
"I think our club just refused to get down or frustrated," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "I would pass out roses to everybody on the roster. It isn't the first time we've done that this season."
St. Louis won for the 14th time in their final at-bat and fourth trailing after eight innings.
It was only the third blown save for Hoffman (1-2) this season, but it spoiled what would have been a remarkable victory for Carlos Villanueva. He was forced to fill in when starter Manny Parra had neck spasms after throwing 21 pitches retiring the Cardinals in the first inning.
The injury put an abrupt end to the rematch between John Smoltz and the Brewers left-hander. Last Thursday, Parra won his 10th game with a 4-3 victory against the Cardinals.
Parra said that he had felt the twinge earlier in the day, but it had calmed down by the time the game started.
"It was the pitch I walked Holliday on," he said, describing the feeling as a shooting pain down his neck and into his upper back. "I came in, and they did some tests. I wasn't going to be able to pitch."
His status for the next start is unknown.
"They didn't tell me anything other than that," Parra said.
Prince Fielder's 38th home run, a two-run shot in the bottom of the first, pushed his major league RBI total to 125 and gave Villanueva a 2-0 lead to start the second.
"They are a good team and, unfortunately, we didn't score enough runs tonight," Fielder said. "They are a good team, and good teams do that every now and then."
The right-hander held the Cardinals scoreless over three innings, retired the side in the fourth on swinging strikeouts and matched his career-high with six overall. He had a big advantage because St. Louis had stacked its lineup with right-handers to face Parra.
Pujols hit a solo shot off David Weathers in the seventh for his major-league leading 45th home run and cut the Cardinals' deficit to one. Pujols has scored 12 runs in a span of eight consecutive games.
The Brewers used eight pitchers, which tied the club record for most pitchers used in an nine-inning game.
"Our bullpen pitched their heart and soul out," Macha said.
|Matt Holliday gets a big welcome from Albert Pujols after his game-changing home run in the ninth. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Julio Lugo, 2B||5||0||1||0||0||1||3||.292|
|Brendan Ryan, SS||4||0||1||0||1||0||1||.288|
|Albert Pujols, 1B||3||2||1||1||2||0||2||.328|
|Matt Holliday, LF||4||2||2||2||1||0||2||.316|
|Ryan Ludwick, RF||5||0||2||0||0||1||4||.272|
|Mark DeRosa, 3B||3||0||1||0||2||1||0||.261|
|Yadier Molina, C||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.284|
|Rick Ankiel, CF||2||0||0||0||0||2||1||.234|
|a- Troy Glaus, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.188|
|Skip Schumaker, CF||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.298|
|John Smoltz, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||1||.091|
|b- Khalil Greene, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.206|
|Kyle Lohse, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.226|
|Brad Thompson, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.091|
|Dennys Reyes, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Colby Rasmus, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||3||.254|
|Blake Hawksworth, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Kyle McClellan, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-walked for Ankiel in the 6th|
|b-flied out for Smoltz in the 6th|
|c-struck out for Reyes in the 8th|
|2B - Ryan Ludwick (19, Vargas), Mark DeRosa (19, Villanueva)|
|3B - Brendan Ryan (7, DiFelice)|
|HR - Albert Pujols (45, Weathers), Matt Holliday (23, Hoffman)|
|RBI - Albert Pujols (121), Matt Holliday 2 (95)|
|2-OUT RBI - Albert Pujols (27)|
|SB - Brendan Ryan 2 (12, 2nd base off Parra/Rivera, 2nd base off Villanueva/Rivera)|
|Team LOB - 11|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Blake Hawksworth (W,3-0)||1||0||0||0||2||0||0||2.51|
|Kyle McClellan (S,3)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3.12|
|Pitches-Strikes - John Smoltz 83-53, Kyle Lohse 11-7, Brad Thompson 17-9, Dennys Reyes 5-3, Blake Hawksworth 21-9, Kyle McClellan 11-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Smoltz 3-5, Kyle Lohse 2-0, Blake Hawksworth 3-0, Kyle McClellan 2-1|
|Batters Faced - John Smoltz 21, Kyle Lohse 3, Brad Thompson 3, Dennys Reyes 1, Blake Hawksworth 5, Kyle McClellan 3|
|Corey Patterson, CF||3||0||0||0||0||3||2||.091|
|a- Jason Bourgeois, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.185|
|Claudio Vargas, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Trevor Hoffman, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Craig Counsell, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||.287|
|Ryan Braun, LF||4||1||1||0||0||1||0||.311|
|Prince Fielder, 1B||3||1||2||2||1||0||0||.299|
|Casey McGehee, 3B||3||0||0||0||1||0||1||.292|
|Jody Gerut, RF-CF||4||1||1||0||0||1||3||.215|
|J.J. Hardy, SS||4||0||1||0||0||2||0||.226|
|Mike Rivera, C||3||0||1||1||1||0||0||.233|
|Manny Parra, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.143|
|Carlos Villanueva, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||2||.111|
|b- Mat Gamel, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.237|
|Mark DiFelice, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Todd Coffey, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Mitch Stetter, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|David Weathers, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Corey Hart, PH-RF||2||0||0||0||0||0||1||.262|
|a-flied out for Patterson in the 7th|
|b-struck out for Villanueva in the 4th|
|c-lined out for Weathers in the 7th|
|2B - Ryan Braun (32, Smoltz)|
|HR - Prince Fielder (38, Smoltz)|
|RBI - Prince Fielder 2 (125), Mike Rivera (12)|
|2-OUT RBI - Prince Fielder 2 (54)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Counsell-Fielder|
|Mitch Stetter (H,19)||0.1||0||0||0||1||0||0||3.79|
|David Weathers (H,18)||1||1||1||1||0||0||1||3.61|
|Claudio Vargas (H,5)||1||1||0||0||2||1||0||2.37|
|Trevor Hoffman (BS,3; L,1-2)||1||1||2||2||1||1||1||2.05|
|IBB - Schumaker by Claudio Vargas|
|Pitches-Strikes - Manny Parra 21-11, Carlos Villanueva 47-28, Mark DiFelice 9-9, Todd Coffey 18-9, Mitch Stetter 8-3, David Weathers 8-5, Claudio Vargas 37-19, Trevor Hoffman 19-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Manny Parra 1-2, Mark DiFelice 1-1, Todd Coffey 2-0, David Weathers 1-2, Claudio Vargas 2-0, Trevor Hoffman 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Manny Parra 5, Carlos Villanueva 12, Mark DiFelice 3, Todd Coffey 5, Mitch Stetter 2, David Weathers 4, Claudio Vargas 6, Trevor Hoffman 5|
|Attendance - 36172|
|Game Time - 3:20|
|Temperature - 71|
|Umpires - Home - Larry Vanover, First Base - Sam Holbrook, Second Base - Gerry Davis, Third Base - Dan Iassogna|