Albert Pujols homered for the 12th time this season and Chris Carpenter lasted six innings in the Cardinals’ 7-2 win over the Pirates at Busch Stadium on Monday night. Pujols set the tone with a blast in the first inning to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead.
Hector Luna and So Taguchi had RBI singles in the second inning to make it 3-0, St. Louis. Later in the inning, David Eckstein bunted Luna in from third on a suicide squeeze to make it 4-0.
Carpenter’s only slip-up came in the fourth inning when he gave up a solo home run to Jason Bay and an RBI single to Humberto Cota, which cut St. Louis’ lead to 4-2.
In the fifth inning, the Cardinals struck again with three more runs. Albert Pujols doubled in Jim Edmonds for his second RBI of the game. Luna and Taguchi drove in another run apiece with RBI singles—they both finished with two RBI’s.
Pujols’ 12 home runs leads the majors, as does his 28 RBI’s.
Carpenter (3-1) gave up the two runs on eight hits and a walk with three strikeouts. His ERA is 1.91. Adam Wainwright relieved Carpenter in the seventh inning and retired the side in order, striking out two. Josh Hancock surrendered pitched a perfect eighth inning and worked around two hits in the ninth to close out the game.
Pirates’ starter, Oliver Perez (1-3) lasted just five innings and was charged with five of the seven runs he allowed. He gave up 10 hits and two walks with four strikeouts.
The Cardinals improved to 12-7 and are in third place in the National League Central Division. They are a game behind first-place Houston and a half-game behind second-place Cincinnati.