Sunday’s Game Report: Cardinals 6, Brewers 3
By Rob Rains
When the Cardinals brought Albert Pujols back for a final season this year, they said it was not for sentimental reasons – that they expected there would be games when Pujols made an impact.
One of those games happened on Sunday.
After Dylan Carlson hit a go-ahead home run in the eighth inning, breaking a 2-2 tie, Pujols followed with a three-run blast later in the inning – his second homer of the game – to send the Cardinals to the win over the Brewers at Busch Stadium.
Pujols also hit a solo homer leading off the second inning. The two homers increased his season total to 10 and his career total to 689. It was his first multi-homer game at Busch since June 4, 2011, before he became a free agent and signed with the Angels.
The win moved the Cardinals back to 1 ½ games ahead of the Brewers in the NL Central.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals’ other homer came from Tyler O’Neill, who had been hitless in his previous 14 at-bats before his one-out homer in the sixth tied the game at 2 … Counting a double by Tommy Edman, five of their seven hits were for extra bases. Their two singles were both infield singles … Following Carlson’s homer, O’Neill reached on one of the infield singles and Paul Goldschmidt drew his second walk of the game to get Pujols to the plate with two outs.
On the mound: Miles Mikolas allowed a two-run homer to Hunter Renfroe in the second inning but the Brewers had only three other hits, all singles, off Mikolas in his eight innings of work. After Renfroe’s home run he retired 13 of the next 14 batters … Ryan Helsley pitched the ninth despite the fact it was not a save situation because of Pujols’ homer. He gave up a home run to Rowdy Tellez before getting the final out.
Key stat: The two-homer game was the 12th at Busch Stadium 3 for Pujols, the most in stadium history. It was the 63rd multi-homer game of his career.
Worth noting: The Cardinals have won 10 of their last 11 games at home … Pujols now has at least 10 homers in 21 consecutive seasons … Jack Flaherty’s second rehab start on Tuesday night will be in Springfield … The Cardinals have four games remaining against the Brewers, two in St. Louis and two in Milwaukee, all in September.
Looking ahead: After a day off on Monday, the Cardinals will host the Rockies in a three-game series beginning Tuesday night with Jose Quintana the scheduled starter.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains