Pujols lights up Brewers
Cards’ slugger ends postseason slump
MILWAUKEE – Your turn, Albert Pujols.
The St. Louis slugger had one of the biggest postseason nights of his career in Game 2 of the NL championship series, going 4 for 5 with a home run, three doubles and five RBIs to lead the Cardinals past the Milwaukee Brewers 12-3 on Monday.
Pujols belted a two-run homer in the first, a two-run double in the third and an RBI double in the fifth, then added another double in the seventh. The crowd cheered sarcastically when the Brewers finally retired him in the eighth.
“Sometimes when they come, they come in a bunch,” Pujols said.
His big hits came one night after Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder bashed the Brewers to a 9-6, come-from-behind victory in Game 1.
This time, the big bats couldn’t bring Milwaukee back — even at Miller Park. The best home team in the majors all season, the Brewers had won all four home games in the playoffs until Monday.
The series now shifts to St. Louis, where Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter faces Brewers right-hander Yovani Gallardo in Game 3 on Wednesday night.
Pujols can become a free agent after the World Series, so a big postseason could raise his price. The three-time N.L. MVP was 1 for 4 in Sunday night’s loss, hitting into a double play with runners on first and third in the seventh inning. A run scored on the play, but it seemed to be an indication that Pujols wasn’t quite on his game. He came into Monday with only one RBI in the Cardinals’ first six postseason games.
“You learn from the mistakes that you made,” Pujols said. “Yesterday was just so tough. Going to bed, I was just thinking about some of the opportunities I had to help our ballclub win. I turned that page, knowing today was a new day.”
Rickie Weeks hit a two-run homer in the fourth for Milwaukee, then was involved in a disputed play in the fifth. With the bases loaded and one out, Weeks grounded into a double play, though replays showed he was safe.
But it didn’t matter much after the Brewers gave up four runs in a backbreaking seventh inning. Fielder homered in the eighth.
|Hairston Jr. 3b||4||0||1||0||0||0||.375|
a-grounded out for Marcum in the 4th. b-singled for Lynn in the 6th. c-struck out for Salas in the 7th. d-grounded out for Hawkins in the 7th. e-reached on error for Holliday in the 8th. f-struck out for Rzepczynski in the 8th. g-struck out for Punto in the 9th. h-grounded out for Lucroy in the 9th. E—R.Weeks (1). LOB—St. Louis 6, Milwaukee 7. 2B—Jay (1), Pujols 3 (3), Y.Molina (1), Braun (2), Fielder (1). HR—Pujols (1), off Marcum; Freese (2), off Narveson; R.Weeks (1), off E.Jackson; Fielder (2), off M.Boggs. RBIs—Pujols 5 (5), Holliday (2), Y.Molina (1), Freese 2 (5), Punto 2 (2), Fielder (3), R.Weeks 2 (2). CS—Holliday (1). S—E.Jackson. RLSP—St. Louis 3, Milwaukee 3. RMU—Holliday, Berkman, Freese. GIDP—R.Weeks. DP—St. Louis 1, Milwaukee 1.
|Lynn W, 1-0||2/3||0||0||0||0||0||0.00|
|Marcum L, 0-1||4||7||5||5||1||1||11.25|
Rhodes pitched to 1 batter in the 5th.
IR-S—Rhodes 2-0, Lynn 3-0, Hawkins 2-0. WP—Estrada. T—3:36. A—43,937 (41,900).