Pujols pitches ninth, allowing two home runs, as Cardinals pull off big win over Giants


S T. LOUIS (AP) — Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina set a major league record for wins by a starting battery when the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the San Francisco Giants 15-6 on Sunday night in a game that ended up with a veteran slugger Alberto Pujols on the mound

Molina homered and drove in four runs, Wainwright pitched six effective innings and St. Louis roughed up Carlos Rodon early. Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado each added a two-run homer for the Cardinals, who won two of three in the series after losing two of three to troubled Baltimore. Goldschmidt had three RBIs.

Pujols, the Cardinals’ designated hitter, came on to pitch for the first time in his 22-year career in the ninth inning. He gave up a three-run homer to Luis Gonzalez and a solo shot to Joey Bart, but managed to get the last three outs with plenty of room to spare.

Pujols, 42, became the oldest player to make his major league pitching debut since Lena Blackburne pitched at age 42 in her final major league game as player/manager for the White Sox. Chicago of 1929.

Wainwright and Molina broke the major league record with their 203rd win as a starting drummer. They surpassed Warren Spahn and Del Crandall, who racked up 202 wins for the Boston and Milwaukee Braves between 1949 and 1963.

The St. Louis duo have started 311 games together, third all-time behind Spahn/Crandall (316) and Mickey Lolich/Bill Freehan (324) of the 1963-75 Detroit Tigers.

Joc Pederson hit a two-run homer for San Francisco, which lost its second straight after winning six in a row.

Molina capped a four-run first-inning explosion off Rodon (4-2) with a two-run RBI single. The 39-year-old catcher added a two-run homer off reliever Zack Littell in the fifth inning to make it 0-11.

Wainwright (4-3) allowed two runs on three hits. He struck out five and walked two. The 40-year-old right-hander retired 14 of the first 15 batters he faced. González got the Giants’ first hit with a two-out single in the fifth.

Rodón allowed eight runs and 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out three and walked one. He had allowed just seven earned runs in his previous six starts this season.

Every St. Louis starter had a hit in the sixth inning.

St. Louis rookie outfielder Juan Yepez singled in the first inning. He has safely reached in each of his first 11 games, the longest streak by a Cardinals rookie since Luis Alicea reached in 23 straight games to start his career in 1988.

The Cardinals went 0-4 in Sunday night games last year before winning on their first try this season.

González came in from the outfield to pitch in the seventh with the bases loaded and two out. He allowed a run-scoring single to Dylan Carlson before flicking out Harrison Bader.


San Francisco RHP Yunior Marte was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento and allowed two earned runs in 1 2/3 innings of relief. INF Donovan Walton was sent to Sacramento. Walton had one hit in four at-bats with the Giants.


Cardinals: RHP Alex Reyes has been shut down after experiencing more soreness in his shoulder. Reyes, sidelined all season, felt more discomfort while playing catch. He had an MRI last week and he will remain inactive until the results are known. “I’m not sure if it’s the same area,” manager Oliver Marmol said. “But it’s a sore shoulder.”


Giants: LHP Alex Wood (3-2, 3.60 ERA) will face Colorado LHP Antonio Senzatela (2-2, 4.88) in the opener of a three-game series in Denver on Monday. Wood didn’t allow an earned run in 5 1/3 innings of a 9-2 win against Colorado on Tuesday.

Cardinals: RHP Miles Mikolas (3-1, 1.49) faces the Mets in the opener of a four-game series on Monday night in New York, weather permitting. Mikolas has allowed two runs or fewer in seven starts this season. The Mets had not yet announced a starter.


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