Albert Pujols hit a three run home run, his 399th off his career, on the first pitch he saw from relief pitcher Sean Gallagher as the Cardinals scored four runs in the first inning and beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 10-2.
With the win, and Cincinnati’s 11-2 loss at San Francisco, the Cardinals pulled to within 2.5 games of first place in the Central Division and one game in the NL Wildcard.
Pirates starter Ross Ohlendorf was pulled after two batters in the first inning with an injury to the back of his pitching arm. That’s when Gallagher was called on and served up the three run shot to Pujols. The Cardinals added another run in the first and they were off and running for starter Kyle Lohse.
Lohse picked up his second win of the season, going 5.1 innings and allowing the two runs, but by that point, he had a 7-0 lead as the Cardinals were on cruise control at that point.
Pujols went 3 for 5 and his average is now .319 as Pujols makes a run for the NL triple crown. His 33 homers and 92 RBIs is best in the league and his .319 average is just four points behind the Reds’ Joey Votto and one behind Atlanta’s Martin Prado. Adam Dunn is next closest with 31 homers and Votto is six RBIs behind Pujols.