Albert Pujols hit his 24 th home run of the season, a two run shot off Royals’ starter Brian Bannister in the sixth and Chris Carpenter pitched 7.2 innings, allowing just one run on three hits while striking out six as the Cardinals move a half game ahead of Milwaukee for first place with a 7-1 win Saturday afternoon in Kansas City.

Pujols’ shot made it a 3-0 game for Carpenter which was plenty of run support.  Bannister pitched well, but just didn’t get any offensive support.  Carpenter says he feels like he is very close to top form.  That’s a scary thought.  Despite a stint on the DL, he is now 5-1 with a 1.53 ERA.

The Cardinals blew the game open in the ninth when they scored four off Kyle Farnsworth and John Bale who allowed a three run homer to Khalil Greene.

Cardinals-Royals postgame