Saturday’s Game Report: Cardinals 4, Angels 2
Fans at Busch Stadium saw everything they could have wished for on Saturday – a home run from Albert Pujols and a Cardinals’ victory.
Pujols, making his return to St. Louis this weekend for the first time since he signed with the Angels as a free agent after the 2011 season, homered in the seventh inning off Dakota Hudson after the Cardinals had built a 4-0 lead en route to the victory.
Pujols earned a rare curtain call for a visiting player after the homer, his first at Busch since Sept. 22, 2011. It was his 111th career homer at Busch, the most by any player.
The homer was the only run allowed by Hudson in seven innings.
The Cardinals had a brief scare in the ninth inning when Jordan Hicks had to come out of the game with an injury, but the initial diagnosis was that he was suffering from a cramp in his triceps.
The win improved the Cardinals’ record to 40-36, the first time they have been four games over .500 since May 14, when they were 23-19. They are now just one game out of first place in the NL Central.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: Marcell Ozuna hit his 20th homer of the season for the Cardinals, a two-run shot in the sixth. He raised his RBI total to 62 … The Cardinals had only five hits, including two singles by Paul Goldschmidt … Their first two runs scored on a throwing error by Angels pitcher Felix Pena after a sacrifice bunt attempt by Hudson … Their other hits were a double by Matt Carpenter and a single by Yadier Molina … They were 0-of-4 with runners in scoring position.
On the mound: Hudson allowed five hits over seven innings, walking one and striking out six. He was able to get out of a bases-loaded jam in the third by retiring Juston Upton and Kole Calhoun, the third and fourth-place hitters in the Angels lineup … Hudson raised his record since May 18 to 4-0 and the Cardinals have won each of his last seven starts since the . Hudson has pitched at least six innings in all seven of those gamers … The Angels’ second run came on a homer by Upton off Hicks in the eighth, only the fourth homer Hicks has allowed in his career … Hicks got the first two outs in then ninth before he had to come of the game … Tyler Webb relieved and after walking the first batter he faced, retired Johnathan Lucroy to earn his first save.
Key stat: Ozuna’s 20th homer came on the exact day, June 22, as he hit his 20th home run in 2017 when he went on to finish the season with a career-high 37 homers. The homer that year came in his 71st game, his home run on Saturday came in his 74th game.
Worth noting: The Cardinals said that Jedd Gyorko, already on the injured list because of a calf injury, will have an arthroscopic procedure on his right wrist on next week. He is projected to be out about three more weeks … The Cardinalsd announced that they will honor the Stanley Cup champion Blues on Wednesday night. Several players will be honored in a pre-game ceremony and the Stanley Cup also will be featured in the ceremony.
Looking ahead: The Cardinals will send Miles Mikolas to the mound on Sunday night to try to complete a sweep of the three-game series.