Two of the biggest stories in Major League Baseball gathered on the same field Monday. Barry Bonds and the San Francisco Giants hosted Albert Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals.
Bonds is making national headlines for his pursuit of the all-time home runs record. He tied Babe Ruth for second place with 714 on Saturday. Pujols is gaining attention for his explosive start to this season including three homers in his last three games. To date, Pujols has 22 home runs in 45 games which is right around where Bonds was the season he hit 73.
Ironically, neither of the two homered in Monday’s game as the Giants beat the Cards 9-2. Bonds went 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. Pujols was 1-for-4 and struck out once. While all the attention and focus was on the two sluggers, the hero of this game would be lesser known Omar Vizquel. The semi-legendary shortstop hit a two-run homer to cap off a six run eighth inning.
Mark Mulder took the loss, just his second of the year. It took the lefty a whopping 120 pitches to get through 6 1/3. He gave up three runs on five hits and walked four in that time.
Tyler Johnson came in to relieve Josh Hancock in the pivotal eighth inning, but Johnson gave up three runs and exited the game before even getting an out. Johnson’s replacement, Braden Looper didn’t fair much better. He at least pitched a full inning but not before giving up three more runs including the dinger to Vizquel.
The Cardinals dropped their first game since sweeping the Royals in the Battle of I-70. St. Louis is 29-16 and lead the National League Central by three games.