PITTSBURGH (AP) - Albert Pujols hit a three-run home run one
pitch after injured Pirates starter Ross Ohlendorf was pulled
during a four-run St. Louis first inning, and the Cardinals moved
to within a game of the NL wild card lead by beating Pittsburgh
10-2 on Monday night.
Kyle Lohse (2-5), making his second start since spending nearly
three months on the disabled list with a right forearm injury,
pitched five scoreless innings before giving up Garrett Jones'
two-run homer in the sixth. Lohse was lifted one out later, but
still won for the first time since May 17 against Washington.
Pujols had another big night, homering in his 10th game of the
Cardinals' last 19 while adding a single and a double in five
at-bats. Pujols has eight homers in 22 games against Pittsburgh
since last season.
Yadier Molina also had three of the Cardinals' 14 hits and drove
in two runs as they won their third in a row overall to cut the
Phillies' wild-card lead to a single game. The Phillies lost 3-2 at
home to Houston.
Ohlendorf (1-11) threw only eight pitches before being removed
due to soreness and tightness in his right shoulder, but they were
enough to give him his fifth consecutive loss. According to STATS
LLC, only four starting pitchers - including Tom Glavine and Roger
Clemens - have thrown fewer pitches in a loss dating to 1988.
The right-hander walked Skip Schumaker and gave up Jon Jay's
single before alerting the bench of his shoulder problem. Pujols
then homered on reliever Sean Gallagher's first pitch, a drive that
cleared the Cardinals bullpen in center field and landed in the
Pirates bullpen behind it.
Pujols' homer was his 33rd of the season and 399th of his
career, leaving him one away from becoming the 47th major leaguer
One day after acknowledging making nearly $36 million in profits
from 2007-09, the Pirates almost couldn't buy an out during the
extended first inning. Each of the Cardinals' first six batters
reached base as Pittsburgh's two pitchers didn't retire a batter
until 22 minutes into the game.
The Cardinals stretched the lead to 7-0 during a three-run fifth
against Gallagher that started with Pujols' double and included
Matt Holliday's run-scoring single and Molina's RBI double.
Lohse struck out four, walked two and gave up two runs and six
hits, a much better start than his first since returning to the
rotation. He gave up seven runs and six hits in three innings of a
9-7 loss to the Cubs on Aug. 15.
The Pirates lost their sixth in seven games and 13th in 15
games, leaving them 16 losses short of their first 100-loss season
since 2001. They must go 22-15 in their remaining 37 games to avoid
NOTES: Lohse is 5-0 against Pittsburgh. ... Pirates 1B-OF Jeff
Clement was placed on the disabled list and LHP Justin Thomas was
called up from Triple-A Indianapolis. Thomas allowed two runs in
the ninth. ... The Cardinals have outscored the Pirates 46-11 in
their six victories against them this season. Pittsburgh has won
once. ... The Brewers' Jamie McAndrew threw four pitches during a
loss on Aug. 28, 1995.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)