Albert Pujols is slugging his way into MVP contention. The Cardinal outfielder went 2-3, with a homer and four RBI’s to lead St. Louis over Pittsburgh 7-2. Pujols drove in the Cardinals first run of the game with a single in the first inning. In the third, he belted a three-run home run to make it 4-0. Pujols has 97 runs batted in, which is good enough for second in the National League. The home run was his 29th of the year. Jim Edmonds also went deep for the 24th time this season. Edgar Renteria had a two-run double in the eighth. Starting pitcher Andy Benes lasted seven innings and surrendered two hits, no runs and struck out seven. He’s now 3-3 on the season. The victory allowed the Cardinals to keep pace with the Astros, who beat the Reds on Monday. St. Louis leads Houston by five games and Cincinnati by six.