Albert Pujols hit the 697th homerun of his career as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates by a 4-3 score at PNC Park.
Pujols is not alone in fourth place on the all-time list, and the Cardinals sit atop the National League Central division, clinching the series victory over the last-place Bucs.
Jose Quintana gave up one run on four hits in 5.2 innings, while Chris Stratton earned the victory (8-4). The Cardinals ruined a tremendous start from Mitch Keller, who gave up just two hits and three walks in seven innings of shutout baseball for Pittsburgh.
A groundout by Oneil Cruz scored Greg Allen to give the Bucs a 1-0 lead in the third inning. Jack Suwinski’s solo homerun, his 16th of the season, increased the lead to 2-0.
The Cardinals scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning to rally to victory. Corey Dickerson’s double scored their first run, and Pujols’s two run homerun, his 18th of the season, gave the Cards a 3-2 lead. Tyler O’Neill’s solo homerun later in the inning turned out to be the game winner.
Allen’s solo homerun in the bottom of the ninth brought the Bucs within a run, but they wouldn’t get any closer as the Cards closed out the game.
This was another heartbreaking loss for the Pirates. Having a 3-0 lead heading to the top of the ninth only to lose the game is just another example of how this team has found ways to lose games this season. The Bucs will face off another N.L. Central opponent, beginning tomorrow night against the Cincinnati Reds.
Record vs. Cardinals: 3-10
Record vs. N.L. Central: 24-35
Record at Home: 28-43
Overall Record: 51-88
Let’s Go Bucs!