Albert Pujols, who needs him?  The Cardinals scored five in the first inning, and backed Braden Looper’s complete game shutout in beating the Cincinnati Reds 10-0.

Rick Ankiel and back-up catcher Jason LaRue got the offense started early as Ankiel launched his second home run of the series and 10th of the year to give the Cardinals a 3-0 lead in the first inning.  Then, LaRue followed with a two run homer with two outs later in the inning and the Cards were off and rolling with a 5-0 lead for Looper.

Looper who was converted to a starter last season pitched his first ever complete game and shutout by allowing just three hits and not walking any batters. 

Ryan Ludwick hit his career high 16th homer in the 7th.  Ludwick is making a great case for an all-star appearance this season. 

As far as Pujols, his strained left calf will keep him out at least three weeks.  From what I’m reading in terms of the severity of the tear, I think it will be more closer to five or six weeks.