Pujols beats Reds with another HR

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 19, 2004

ST. LOUIS - For the second straight game, Albert Pujols upstaged Ken Griffey's quest for 500 homers.

Pujols' three-run homer in the seventh inning led the St. Louis Cardinals to a 9-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday night, their sixth straight win. Pujols hit the game-winning homer leading off the 10th Friday.

Griffey remained stuck on 499 homers for the fifth straight game, although he contributed to the offense with two singles, an RBI and a walk. He was 2-for-3 Saturday and is 5-for-20 with three RBIs since his last homer on Sunday at Cleveland.

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Both games in St. Louis, flashbulbs have popped throughout Griffey's at-bats, a fan trait reminiscent of Mark McGwire's 70-homer season in 1998. He walked on a full count in the first, hit an RBI single in the third for the game's first run, was held to a single in the fifth when right fielder John Mabry cut off his drive to the gap and grounded out to second in the eighth.

Griffey is 13-for-29 (.448) against Woody Williams with five homers, although he didn't come close to a longball on Saturday.

Griffey's second shot at 500 in St. Louis drew a sellout crowd of 48,641, but that likely was due to Camera Day. Friday's game, featuring no giveaways or special promotions, drew a crowd of 37,946.

Williams threw seven strong innings and Jim Edmonds was 3-for-4 with a homer for the Cardinals, who have won 15 of 19. Edmonds is 8-for-12 with two homers for his career against Reds starter Jose Acevedo (3-6).

Jason La Rue homered in the sixth to give the Reds a 2-0 lead. Edmonds countered with his 15th homer leading off the bottom of the sixth.

Tony Womack and Ray Lankford hit consecutive one-out singles in the seventh off Acevedo, and Pujols lined his 19th homer - one more than Griffey - over the left-field wall on the first pitch.

Williams (5-6) has won four of his last five starts and is 3-0 against the Reds the last two seasons. He allowed two runs on four hits in seven innings with five strikeouts and three walks, also working around two wild pitches and a hit batter.

Jason Isringhausen got the last four outs for his 15th save in 18 chances. In his first at-bat of the season he gave himself a nice cushion with a two-run, bases-loaded single off Phil Norton in the Cardinals' five-run eighth.

Scott Rolen added a bases-loaded triple with two outs in the eighth on a drive to the left-field warning track that Adam Dunn appeared to have lost in the lights. Rolen leads the majors with 70 RBIs.

Acevedo worked out of trouble before the seventh. In seven innings he gave up four runs on 11 hits and is 0-4 against the Cardinals for his career with a 9.88 ERA.

The Reds have lost nine in a row on the road, their worst skid since they dropped 10 straight June 1-24, 1998.

Notes: Edmonds has hit 81 homers at Busch Stadium, tied for third on the career list with Ted Simmons. … The Cardinals are a season-best 14 games above .500 at 41-27. … Womack was 2-for-4 and is 11-for-23 in his last five games. … The Cardinals had 14 hits, their sixth straight game in double figures. … Isringhausen was 1-for-2 last year with a three-run triple and is a career .210 hitter.