Albert Pujols hit his 17th home run of the season and Chris Carpenter improved to 6-1 as the Cardinals beat the Pirates 5-3 in Pittsburgh. In the first inning, Pujols smoked a two-run homer to add to his major-league leading total. John Mabry drove in two runs for St. Louis with a sacrifice fly and a double and Tony Womack had an RBI single. On the mound, Carpenter lasted seven innings and allowed three runs off seven hits, no walks and struck out nine. The bullpen took over from there, as Steve Kline, Julian Tavarez and Jason Isringhausen held the Pirates hitless over the last two innings. Isringhausen got his 10th save… Mike Matheny was pulled out of the game because of a sore right side. No word on his return.