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Aug. 11: Cardinals 5, Brewers 2

To quote John McClain's famous line from the Die Hard movie series: "Welcome to the party, pal!"

Did you think I was going to say something else?

Of course I'm referring to Albert Pujols' 4-for-4 night that helped the Birds past the Brewers. He had hit .119 in his last 11 games against Milwaukee as the Brewers beat on St. Louis and knocked the Cardinals to the brink of falling out of the play-off picture. It was Albert's first four-hit game in more than two seasons.

The 5-2 Thursday victory pulled the Redbirds back to within four games of first place and makes a Cardinals fan a little edgy with thoughts of what might have been if their team would have done one little thing here or there right and won the first game of the series...

Starting pitcher Chris Carpenter started off shaky and staked the Brewers to a 2-0 lead after half an inning. But Rafael Furcal and Pujols hit solo homers in the first inning to tie the game.

In the third inning Jon Jay broke a Cardinals rule that nobody moves on the bases when Pujols is hitting. He took off for second and Pujols -- instead of adding to his league leading double play total, singled to make it first and third with one out. Lance Berkman then singled to centerfield to give St. Louis a 3-2 lead.

In the fifth inning Jay singled and stole second with two outs and Pujols at the plate. Albert singled to knock home Jay and make the score 4-2. Berkman singled Pujols to third and then the fifth run scored when Albert came home on a wild pitch.

After his rough start, Carp bent but didn't break. He allowed 10 hits over eight innings pitched but didn't allow any more runs to win his eighth game and even his record after a 1-7 start.

Cardinals Star of the Game: Pujols' four hits in four trips to the plate moved his average to a season-high .284.

Cardinals Play of the Game: Pujols' homer, his 28th of the season.

Lowlight: The umpires had to stop the game in the late innings and tell Milwaukee's coaching staff to shut up jerk outfielder Nyjer Morgan who was haranguing Carpenter from the bench. Usually a little gamesmanship is considered to be fair game. So it must have been pretty bad when something was done to shut it down. Morgan in the first game of the series pretended a couple of times as if he was going to throw a ball to fans in the bleachers before turning his back and running to the dugout with the ball. The guy has some talent. Too bad he keeps wearing out his welcome with his childish behavior.

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