The Cardinals built a 6-2 lead only to see it crash and burn a half-inning later in a 10-8 loss to the Padres on Sunday in San Diego. Albert Pujols blasted his 24th home run of the season, a three-run shot, in the top of the fifth to give St. Louis the four-run lead.

But Mark Mulder, whose only blemish until the bottom of the fifth were two solo homers from Mark Bellhorn and Josh Bard, collapsed. He got just one batter out in the inning, as San Diego began an eight-run rally. Mulder gave up six of those runs.

Mulder (5-3) started the inning by giving up three-straight to singles to Eric Young, Mike Cameron and Brian Giles to load the bases. After getting Vinny Castilla to fly out, Mulder walked Khalil Greene for the first run of the frame. Mark Bellhorn was up next and ripped a bases-clearing double which tied the score 6-6. Bard was up next and belted his second homer of the game to give San Diego the lead. That was it for Mulder, who got the loss.

Brad Thompson entered the game and gave up two more runs to give the Padres 10-6 advantage. David Eckstein drove in a run with a grounder in the sixth and Scott Rolen hit his fifth homer of the season in the ninth for the final two runs of the game