Albert Pujols hit a pair of home runs Sunday night against the Braves while Kyle Lohse bent like a pretzel but didn't break to get just his third victory of the season in a 7-3 win.
Pujols hit a blast to straightaway centerfield in the first inning to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead, then he hit a second in the fifth inning to start a four-run inning that did the Braves in.
Lohse managed to make it through 5 1/3 innings. Despite giving up nine hits he allowed only a pair of runs. Lohse actually pitched pretty well for most of the night, giving up three hits in a row with two outs in the third to allow Atlanta its first run and consecutive hits to start the sixth and allow another tally. His pitches seemed sharper than they have in previous starts and his stamina seemed to be somewhat better than earlier games when he seemed to run out of gas in the third inning.
Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols hits one of his two home runs Sunday night against Atlanta. AP photo.
He kept the ball on the ground with more consistency than in the past as well. But Lohse needed help on one long fly. Nate McLouth hit a ball to the straightaway centerfield wall that may have been a home run if it were not snagged by Colby Rasmus.
Pujols, Rasmus, Matt Holliday and Brendan Ryan each had a pair of hits to pace the offense. Pujols' homers pushed his RBI total for the year to 104.
Wouldn't it figure that the Cardinals couldn't beat a rookie with their ace on the hill. But Loshe, who has been woefully awful for a year got the best of Atlanta ace Tim Hudson?
Cardinals Star of the Game: Pujols
Cardinals Play of the Game: Rasmus' home run robbing catch
Lowlight: Pedro Feliz was 0-for-3. When he arrived from Houston the third baseman said he was eager to prove he isn't really a .221 hitter. Now he's hitting .219 for the season.