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St. Louis at Atlanta

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St. Louis (74-67) «1010410007130
Atlanta (82-62)0010010103111

Pujols hits two HRs as Cardinals power past Braves

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- Tony La Russa savored a souvenir, and Albert Pujols savored a milestone.

Pujols hit two home runs to power the St. Louis Cardinals past Atlanta 7-3 on Sunday night, dropping the Braves out of first place in the NL East.

Atlanta fell one game behind the Philadelphia Phillies, who beat the New York Mets 3-0 behind Roy Oswalt.

Pujols passed Hall of Famer Stan Musial for the most multihomer games in Cardinals history with 38, including five this season.

"It's pretty special to be named with that legend," Pujols said.

Barring a playoff matchup, it was the last time La Russa will manage against Atlanta's Bobby Cox, who is retiring after the season.

La Russa beamed when looking at a baseball and lineup card that Cox signed. Each sat on La Russa's desk after the game.

"That's a keeper," said La Russa, holding the lineup card. "That's not going anywhere."

La Russa said Cox "has had the best managerial career of anybody I've been around. ... He's done it exactly the right way, which is most important."

"I hope he gets to the postseason. I hope they get to the postseason."

La Russa is third in career regular-season wins. Cox ranks fourth. The two managed against each other in 161 regular-season games in a rivalry that began in 1982 when Cox was with Toronto and La Russa managed the Chicago White Sox. Cox finished with a 94-67 advantage.

A ball signed by La Russa sat on Cox's desk.

"I like Tony a lot," Cox said. "I've been going at it with Tony a long, long time."

Kyle Lohse (3-7) allowed nine hits but only two runs in 5 1/3 innings to beat Tim Hudson (15-8), who gave up six runs in five innings in his third straight loss.

"I was keeping the ball up a little more than I wanted, falling behind a little more than I wanted, having to give in and throw a little more over the plate than I would have liked," Hudson said. "It just wasn't a good night for me."

The second-place Cardinals gained a game in the NL Central but still trail Cincinnati by six. With a split of the four-game set, St. Louis won the season series 6-2.

Nate McLouth had a homer and a double for Atlanta. Cardinals center fielder Colby Rasmus robbed McLouth of another possible homer with a leaping catch at the wall in the fourth.

Pujols had three RBI on Saturday, giving him 10 straight seasons with more than 100. He leads the NL with 39 homers and 104 RBI. He also hit a homer Thursday in the opening game of the four-game series.

La Russa said Pujols plays "in a different home run climate than when Stan played."

"Because Albert did it in 10 years, I don't want to take anything away from him, but I don't want to take anything away from Stan," La Russa said.

La Russa said before the game that Pujols has had difficulty with his left elbow. La Russa said Pujols landed on the elbow while making a catch in Pittsburgh late last month and hurt the elbow again a few days later.

La Russa said Pujols is feeling better and is better able to follow through on his swing. Pujols said after the game he is still having problems.

"There is no DL in September," he said. "You have to keep pushing and try to put us in a good spot."

Pujols gave the Cardinals a 1-0 lead with a homer over the 400-foot mark in center in the first inning and added a line-drive shot to left in the fifth.

His second homer cleared the wall so quickly that left fielder Melky Cabrera barely moved as he turned to watch it land in the seats.

Yadier Molina had a run-scoring single in the third. The Cardinals added four runs in the fifth. After Pujols' second homer, Lohse had an RBI single and Brendan Ryan added a two-run triple.

Jason Heyward had doubles in each of his first two at-bats for Atlanta and scored on Martin Prado's single in the third. Alex Gonzalez had three hits, including a single in the sixth to drive in McLouth.

McLouth added a homer in the eighth off Blake Hawksworth.

Notes

  • Braves rookie 1B Freddie Freeman turned 21 on Sunday. He was selected as the club's minor league player of the year before the game. He entered in the seventh.
  • Hudson has allowed a combined total of 13 runs in his three straight losses, increasing his ERA from 2.24 to 2.62.
 
Copyright 2015 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 hits two home runs to pass Stan Musial for the most multihomer games in Cardinals history. (AP)
Albert Pujols hits two home runs to pass Stan Musial for the most multihomer games in Cardinals history. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

A. Pujols
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 2
Atlanta

N. McLouth
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Skip Schumaker, 2B5010013 .273
Jon Jay, RF5110022 .313
Albert Pujols, 1B5222021 .309
Matt Holliday, LF3220200 .307
Colby Rasmus, CF5021031 .272
Yadier Molina, C2111202 .253
Pedro Feliz, 3B3000103 .219
    Blake Hawksworth, P0000000 .000
   a- Randy Winn, PH1000000 .243
    Fernando Salas, P0000000 .000
Kyle Lohse, P2111000 .214
    Felipe Lopez, 3B2010000 .234
Brendan Ryan, SS5022002 .226
Totals38713758  
a-lined out for Hawksworth in the 9th
Batting
2B - Colby Rasmus (25, Dunn)
3B - Brendan Ryan (3, Hudson)
HR - Albert Pujols 2 (39, Hudson, Hudson)
SH - Kyle Lohse (1)
RBI - Albert Pujols 2 (104), Colby Rasmus (60), Yadier Molina (54), Kyle Lohse (3), Brendan Ryan 2 (31)
2-OUT RBI - Albert Pujols (40), Yadier Molina (18), Kyle Lohse (1), Brendan Ryan 2 (15)
SB - Brendan Ryan (9, 2nd base off O'Flaherty/McCann)
CS - Skip Schumaker (3, 2nd base by Hudson/McCann)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - Lohse-Ryan-Pujols
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Kyle Lohse (W,3-7) 5.1922110 6.85
Blake Hawksworth 2.2111021 4.90
Fernando Salas 1100110 1.90
Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Lohse 92-59, Blake Hawksworth 27-19, Fernando Salas 25-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Lohse 7-7, Blake Hawksworth 1-5, Fernando Salas 1-1
Batters Faced - Kyle Lohse 25, Blake Hawksworth 9, Fernando Salas 5
Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Omar Infante, 2B5020000 .342
Jason Heyward, RF3120210 .289
Martin Prado, 3B5011004 .315
Brian McCann, C4010002 .276
    David Ross, C0000000 .281
Derrek Lee, 1B3000012 .253
    Freddie Freeman, 1B1000000 .077
Nate McLouth, CF4221000 .189
Alex Gonzalez, SS4031000 .265
Melky Cabrera, LF4000013 .255
Tim Hudson, P2000001 .203
    Peter Moylan, P0000000 .000
    Mike Dunn, P0000000 .000
    Scott Proctor, P0000000 .000
   a- Eric Hinske, PH1000001 .251
    Eric O'Flaherty, P0000000 .000
    Craig Kimbrel, P0000000 .000
    Cristhian Martinez, P0000000 .000
   b- Troy Glaus, PH1000010 .240
Totals37311324  
a-flied out for Proctor in the 6th
b-struck out for Cr. Martinez in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jason Heyward 2 (29, Lohse, Lohse), Nate McLouth (10, Lohse), Alex Gonzalez (38, Lohse)
HR - Nate McLouth (5, Hawksworth)
RBI - Martin Prado (65), Nate McLouth (21), Alex Gonzalez (81)
2-OUT RBI - Martin Prado (28), Nate McLouth (5)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - McCann-A. Gonzalez, Prado-Lee, Freeman
E - Omar Infante (15, Misplayed grounder)
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Tim Hudson (L,15-8) 5966252 2.62
Peter Moylan 0.1111110 3.20
Mike Dunn0100100 0.00
Scott Proctor 0.2000000 6.75
Eric O'Flaherty 1100000 2.38
Craig Kimbrel 1000020 0.73
Cristhian Martinez 1100100 3.80
IBB - Molina by Mike Dunn
HBP - Molina (by Tim Hudson)
WP - Tim Hudson (5)
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Hudson 102-59, Peter Moylan 16-9, Mike Dunn 7-3, Scott Proctor 1-1, Eric O'Flaherty 12-7, Craig Kimbrel 12-9, Cristhian Martinez 19-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Hudson 10-1, Scott Proctor 1-0, Eric O'Flaherty 3-0, Craig Kimbrel 1-0, Cristhian Martinez 1-1
Batters Faced - Tim Hudson 28, Peter Moylan 3, Mike Dunn 2, Scott Proctor 1, Eric O'Flaherty 4, Craig Kimbrel 3, Cristhian Martinez 4
Game Information
Attendance - 27156
Game Time - 3:15
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Bill Welke, First Base - Mike DiMuro, Second Base - Tim Welke, Third Base - Jim Reynolds