Albert Pujols continued his assault on National League pitchers and Jason Marquis stayed perfect to lead the Cardinals to 2-0 win over the Pirates in Pittsburgh Monday night. Pujols hit a two-run homer in the top of the first to drive in the only two runs St. Louis needed. It was his ninth home run of the season and the fourth straight at-bat in which he hit a homer. That tied a major league record. Pujols and Detroit’s Chris Shelton are the fourth and fifth players in major league history to have nine home runs after 13 games.
Marquis (3-0) held down the fort defensively by lasting eight innings and allowing just one run on three hits and two walks. At one point, Marquis put down 20-of-21 Pittsburgh batters. An RBI single by Nate McLouth in the eighth inning scored the Pirates’ only run of the game.
In the ninth inning reliever Jason Isringhausen gave up a lead-off double to Jack Wilson, but struck out Jason Bay and Jeromy Burnitz for the first two outs. Craig Wilson grounded out at second to end the threat and the game. Isringhausen earned his fourth save of the season.
Pirates’ starter Paul Maholm (0-2) got the loss in six innings of work.