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Arizona at St. Louis

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Arizona (49-42)0310011006113
St. Louis (48-43) «1000020317151

Pujols hits first HR since return, Cards drop D-Backs

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- Albert Pujols looks like himself again. So do the St. Louis Cardinals.

Pujols hit a tying drive in the eighth inning for his first homer since returning the disabled list and rookie pinch-hitter Tony Cruz hit a game-ending RBI double in the ninth, capping the Cardinals' comeback from a four-run deficit in a 7-6 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night.

"I'm right where I want to be and it feels good to help the ballclub win," Pujols said. "I was just part of that group and it feels good to be part of that group.

"That's how you need to win some games, getting a lot of help from the bench and guys coming through big-time."

It was the Cardinals' biggest comeback since they came from four runs down to beat the Dodgers 5-4 on July 18, 2010, and pulled them into a first-place tie with Milwaukee in the NL Central. Cruz got his first career game-winning hit.

"You can only get through Pujols, [Matt] Holliday and [Lance] Berkman so many times," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said.

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Pujols' 18th homer, and first in five games back from a broken left wrist, was a two-run shot off Yhency Brazoban that tied it at 6. Pujols was 3 for 4 with a walk and three RBI, a breakout game after going 1 for 12 his first four games back.

Pujols has 1,982 hits, passing Red Schoendienst for fifth on the franchise's career list with a single in the seventh. The homer was his 30th in the eighth inning or later to tie or put the Cardinals ahead, the most in the majors during his 11-year career, according to the Society of American Baseball Research.

"We tried to go fastball in, it was kind of middle down, and it's Pujols, man," Arizona catcher Miguel Montero said. "He crushed that ball."

Cruz's first hit in six pinch-hit at-bats came off Joe Paterson (0-3), who gave up two hits and a walk.

"That's what you grow up watching, people hitting walk-offs," Cruz said. "You dream of that as a little kid."

The Cardinals had dropped three of four since Pujols returned. They had a season-best 15 hits and won despite stranding 12 runners.

"We just kept playing," manager Tony La Russa said. "We just stayed after it."

Diamondbacks starter Daniel Hudson had two hits and two RBI, and leads pitchers with 12 hits and nine RBI while batting .333. But Hudson faded on the mound and failed to retire any of the three batters he faced in the sixth.

"I felt OK, didn't feel great obviously," Hudson said. "Give credit to their guys. Every guy it felt like I had two strikes and they fouled off maybe four pitches, and it drove my pitch count up a lot."

Arizona committed two errors in the eighth, one of them allowing a run after center fielder Eric Young fumbled the ball after catching a flyout.

Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter gave up four earned runs in six innings after entering the game on a roll. The right-hander won his previous three starts while allowing two runs in 24 innings.

"It was a battle, no question," Carpenter said. "They hit some good pitches, they hit some bad pitches. They got some balls to drop in."

Berkman singled to start the ninth and Yadier Molina walked with one out ahead of Cruz's winner. Fernando Salas (5-2) worked a scoreless ninth with one strikeout.

Hudson had a two-run single in a three-run second, Young had an RBI double in the third and Kelly Johnson's RBI double made it 5-1 in the sixth.

Ninth-place hitter Skip Schumaker had three hits, including RBI singles his last two trips, for St. Louis.

Notes

  • Carpenter needs one strikeout to tie Jesse Haines (979) for fifth on the franchise's career list.
  • The Diamondbacks entered with an NL-leading 292 extra-base hits and had three doubles.
  • Hudson has worked only nine innings combined in his last two starts.
  • Ryan Roberts is 5 for 10 as a pinch hitter for Arizona and drove in his first run in that role in the seventh to make it 6-3.
 
Copyright 2014 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 ties things up for St. Louis after he blasts a home run in the eighth -- his first dinger (AP)
Albert Pujols ties things up for St. Louis after he blasts a home run in the eighth -- his first dinger (AP)

Players of the Game
Arizona

C. Young
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
St. Louis

A. Pujols
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
 
Arizona Diamondbacks
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Kelly Johnson, 2B4011122 .218
Stephen Drew, SS5000003 .257
Justin Upton, RF4220101 .297
Chris Young, CF4121001 .261
Miguel Montero, C5120012 .273
Sean Burroughs, 3B2000002 .267
   a- Ryan Roberts, PH-3B1011000 .257
Willie Bloomquist, LF3210100 .262
Juan Miranda, 1B3000116 .213
    Yhency Brazoban, P0000000 .000
    Joe Paterson, P0000000 .000
Daniel Hudson, P2022000 .333
    Sam Demel, P0000000 .000
    Xavier Nady, 1B1000010 .245
Totals34611545  
a-singled for Burroughs in the 7th
Batting
2B - Kelly Johnson (17, Carpenter), Justin Upton (23, Carpenter), Chris Young (25, Carpenter)
SH - Sean Burroughs (1), Daniel Hudson (7)
RBI - Kelly Johnson (42), Chris Young (50), Ryan Roberts (35), Daniel Hudson 2 (9)
2-OUT RBI - Kelly Johnson (10), Daniel Hudson 2 (7)
SB - Chris Young (12, 2nd base off Carpenter/Molina)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Drew-Miranda
E - Sean Burroughs (1, Throwing), Justin Upton (8, Misplayed grounder), Chris Young (2, )
Arizona Diamondbacks
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Daniel Hudson 5832340 3.74
Sam Demel (H,5) 1100000 1.80
Yhency Brazoban (BS,1) 2433121 6.00
Joe Paterson (L,0-3) 0.1211100 3.92
WP - Daniel Hudson (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Daniel Hudson 109-70, Sam Demel 6-5, Yhency Brazoban 34-23, Joe Paterson 12-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Daniel Hudson 5-6, Sam Demel 1-1, Yhency Brazoban 1-3, Joe Paterson 1-0
Batters Faced - Daniel Hudson 26, Sam Demel 3, Yhency Brazoban 11, Joe Paterson 4
St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ryan Theriot, SS5110002 .289
David Freese, 3B5000013 .328
Albert Pujols, 1B4133110 .277
Matt Holliday, LF5020022 .324
Lance Berkman, RF3010213 .291
Colby Rasmus, CF5210006 .247
Yadier Molina, C4110102 .279
Chris Carpenter, P2010010 .121
   a- Nick Punto, PH0000100 .271
    Mitchell Boggs, P0000000 .000
    Trever Miller, P0000000 .000
    Jason Motte, P0000000 .000
    Lance Lynn, P0000000 .000
   b- Jon Jay, PH1110000 .299
    Fernando Salas, P0000000 .000
   c- Tony Cruz, PH1011000 .317
Skip Schumaker, 2B4131001 .267
Totals39715556  
a-walked for Carpenter in the 6th
b-singled for Lynn in the 8th
c-doubled for Salas in the 9th
Batting
2B - Yadier Molina (18, Hudson), Chris Carpenter (2, Hudson), Tony Cruz (5, Paterson), Skip Schumaker (11, Hudson)
HR - Albert Pujols (18, Brazoban)
RBI - Albert Pujols 3 (50), Tony Cruz (4), Skip Schumaker (20)
2-OUT RBI - Albert Pujols 2 (17)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
DP - Schumaker-Pujols, Pujols-Molina-Freese
PB - Yadier Molina (3)
E - Colby Rasmus (3, Misplayed grounder)
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Chris Carpenter 6954430 3.85
Mitchell Boggs0111000 2.97
Trever Miller 0.1000000 4.11
Jason Motte 0.2100000 2.55
Lance Lynn 1000010 4.19
Fernando Salas (W,5-2) 1000010 2.30
HBP - Young (by Mitchell Boggs)
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Carpenter 100-62, Mitchell Boggs 5-3, Trever Miller 2-1, Jason Motte 8-6, Lance Lynn 12-8, Fernando Salas 8-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Carpenter 5-8, Jason Motte 1-1, Lance Lynn 1-1, Fernando Salas 1-1
Batters Faced - Chris Carpenter 29, Mitchell Boggs 2, Trever Miller 1, Jason Motte 3, Lance Lynn 3, Fernando Salas 3
Game Information
Attendance - 42745
Game Time - 3:16
Temperature - 88
Umpires - Home - Brian O'Nora, First Base - Alfonso Marquez, Second Base - Ed Hickox, Third Base - Ed Rapuano