St. Louis at San Diego

St. Louis
San Diego
W: K. Lohse (6-2) L: H. Bell (2-1)
S: F. Salas (8)
HR: STL - A. Pujols (8)   SD - None

Pujols ends HR drought, Cards drop Padres in ninth wire reports

SAN DIEGO -- One ball left the yard and another one didn't, both providing highlights for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Albert Pujols hit his first home run in 106 at-bats to end the longest drought of his career and the NL Central-leading Cardinals scored two runs off Heath Bell in the ninth to beat the struggling San Diego Padres 3-1 on Monday night, their seventh victory in eight games.

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Long homerless drought finally ends for Pujols.
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Colby Rasmus robbed former teammate Ryan Ludwick of a home run to end the first inning, providing another frustrating Petco Park moment for the Padres, who have lost six of seven and dropped to 8-19 at home, the worst mark in the NL.

Pujols came into the game without a home run in 103 at-bats. He flied out to the warning track in center field in his first at-bat, then flied out to right-center in his second at-bat.

He didn't miss in his next at-bat, driving a 1-2 pitch from Dustin Moseley into the first row in left field over a desperation leap by Ludwick for a 1-0 lead with one out in the sixth. It was his eighth.

Pujols has seven home runs in 88 at-bats at Petco Park and five home runs in his past 11 games in San Diego.

"One run," manager Tony La Russa said. "You know what had more value? It's the worst ball he hit. You watch, he's making contact like that. He might not have the first 10 days of the season. After that he's made contact. He just keeps hitting it hard. They're pitching him like he's hitting .350, so every at-bat's a tough one for him."

San Diego catcher Rob Johnson said it wasn't a bad pitch. "It might not have been ideal but that's why he is such a great player," Johnson said. "You have to be careful with him."

La Russa was ejected by plate umpire Jim Joyce after Pujols took a called third strike for the second out of the eighth inning.

Pujols took a step toward first base after Mike Adams' 3-2 pitch at the knees, then turned and jumped in frustration after Joyce punched him out. La Russa came out to get the slugger and as he turned toward the dugout, said something to Joyce and was ejected.

It was La Russa's eighth game back since missing six games to be treated for shingles.

"It's not even worth talking about," La Russa said. "I just went out there to save Albert. We need him in the game. I ran out there. I said to him, 'Hey, you're better than that.' I've known Jim a long time. He said, 'You're out of here; you can't say anything.' I said, 'That's pretty tame.' He's the umpire. If I was the umpire, I probably would have ejected me, too."

Rasmus made a great leaping grab to rob Ludwick of a home run to straightaway center field for the final out of the first. Ludwick rounded second and stared at Rasmus, his former St. Louis teammate, as if to say, "Are you kidding?"

"I just read it off the bat, ran back, seen the wall and jumped up and caught it. Not much thinking to it. Just instincts."

Rasmus didn't show the ball or hold it up. He just ran off the field.

"It was kind of weird. Everybody was looking at me and I wasn't really thinking about showing the ball. Nobody could tell, I guess. Luddy was just staring me down. I felt kind of bad. I think he'd show me the same respect and try to rob one if I hit it, too. He wouldn't let it go."

Said winning pitcher Kyle Lohse: "That was a big pickup right there for Colby, a game-changer right there. He did a great job, and after that I wasn't going to hang too many sliders."

Padres pinch-hitter Jorge Cantu hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 1 in the seventh. San Diego had runners on first and third and no outs after Chase Headley hit a leadoff double and advanced on Cameron Maybin's bunt for a single. Orlando Hudson grounded to Pujols, who threw home to catch Headley in a rundown, which moved Maybin to third.

The Cardinals broke through against Bell (2-1) in the ninth. Skip Schumaker hit a one-out double to right and scored on Daniel Descalso's single to medium right. Chris Denorfia's throw was up the first-base line. Ryan Theriot hit a two-out single to bring in Descalso.

"I don't think there is a frustration level for the ballclub," Bell said. "For me, for not doing my job, the frustration level is high. The other 24 guys on the team did their job."

Lohse (6-2) held the Padres to one run and five hits in eight innings, struck out five and walked one. Fernando Salas got the final two outs for his eighth save in as many chances.

Moseley allowed one run and five hits in seven innings, struck out three and walked three.

The loss came hours after the light-hitting Padres shook up their lineup by demoting leadoff batter Will Venable to Triple-A Tucson.


  • Denorfia moved into Venable's starting spot in RF. To take Venable's spot on the 25-man roster, the Padres purchased the contract of Blake Tekotte from Double-A San Antonio. RHP Samuel Deduno was designated for assignment to open a spot on the 40-man roster for Tekotte.
  • Pujols has 20 home runs and 63 RBI in 69 career games against San Diego.
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.
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Albert Pujols gets a warm greeting in the Cards dugout after hitting his first home run in 106 at-bats. (AP)
Albert Pujols gets a warm greeting in the Cards dugout after hitting his first home run in 106 at-bats. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

K. Lohse
IP 8.0
H 5
ER 1
BB 1
K 5
San Diego

C. Maybin
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 0

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St. Louis Cardinals
Ryan Theriot, SS5011001 .297
Jon Jay, RF5030011 .329
Albert Pujols, 1B4111013 .268
Lance Berkman, LF2010200 .341
Colby Rasmus, CF3000125 .282
Yadier Molina, C4000001 .324
Skip Schumaker, 2B3110100 .246
Daniel Descalso, 3B4121001 .223
Kyle Lohse, P3000012 .111
   a- Allen Craig, PH1000001 .314
    Brian Tallet, P0000000 .000
    Fernando Salas, P0000000 .000
a-flied out for Lohse in the 9th
2B - Jon Jay (3, Adams), Skip Schumaker (5, Bell), Daniel Descalso (9, Moseley)
HR - Albert Pujols (8, Moseley)
RBI - Ryan Theriot (17), Albert Pujols (26), Daniel Descalso (16)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Theriot (10)
SB - Jon Jay (3, 2nd base off Moseley/Johnson)
Team LOB - 8
St. Louis Cardinals
Kyle Lohse (W,6-2) 8511150 2.06
Brian Tallet (H,2) 0.1000010 3.38
Fernando Salas (S,8) 0.2100010 1.27
Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Lohse 118-79, Brian Tallet 4-3, Fernando Salas 9-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Lohse 11-8
Batters Faced - Kyle Lohse 30, Brian Tallet 1, Fernando Salas 3
San Diego Padres
Chris Denorfia, RF4010000 .330
Jason Bartlett, SS4000001 .255
Ryan Ludwick, LF4000021 .235
Brad Hawpe, 1B4010011 .233
Chase Headley, 3B4020011 .262
Cameron Maybin, CF3120111 .269
Orlando Hudson, 2B4000004 .218
Rob Johnson, C2000002 .190
   a- Jorge Cantu, PH0001000 .200
    Mike Adams, P0000000 .000
    Heath Bell, P0000000 .000
Dustin Moseley, P2000010 .200
   b- Kyle Phillips, PH-C1000011 .150
a-hit a sacrifice fly for Johnson in the 7th
b-struck out for Moseley in the 7th
2B - Chris Denorfia (4, Lohse), Brad Hawpe (9, Lohse), Chase Headley (11, Lohse)
SF - Jorge Cantu (2)
RBI - Jorge Cantu (14)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Hudson-Bartlett-Hawpe, Bartlett-Hudson-Hawpe
San Diego Padres
Dustin Moseley 7511331 3.15
Mike Adams 1100120 1.19
Heath Bell (L,2-1) 1322000 2.12
IBB - Berkman by Mike Adams
Pitches-Strikes - Dustin Moseley 104-60, Mike Adams 27-13, Heath Bell 28-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dustin Moseley 12-4, Heath Bell 1-2
Batters Faced - Dustin Moseley 27, Mike Adams 5, Heath Bell 6
Game Information
Attendance - 16513
Game Time - 2:50
Temperature - 64
Umpires - Home - Jim Joyce, First Base - Ron Kulpa, Second Base - Jim Wolf, Third Base - Derryl Cousins