Pujols, Cardinals get past Reds 8-5

Published 11:37 pm Saturday, September 27, 2008

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Albert Pujols hit his 37th home run and reached 100 runs for the seventh time in his first eight seasons in the St. Louis Cardinals’ 8-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday night.

Todd Wellemeyer pitched into the seventh inning and Troy Glaus’ two-run homer left him two RBIs shy of 100 for the Cardinals, who have won five straight. Felipe Lopez also homered for St. Louis, which has taken 11 of its last 13 at home against the Reds.

Pujols entered the night with seven straight hits, and had reached base in 11 straight plate appearance, not counting a sacrifice fly on Thursday. He was hitless his first three at-bats Saturday before lining a ball over the left field wall off Jon Adkins in the seventh.

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Pujols, whose .356 average is second in the majors, is the only player in major league history with 30 homers and 100 RBIs each of his first eight seasons. He finished with 99 runs last year, his only sub-100 season.

Aaron Harang (6-17) allowed six runs — four earned — in five innings to end a late-season run of six quality starts in seven outings. A 16-game winner each of the previous two seasons, Harang allowed 35 homers on the year — one behind Brandon Backe of Houston for the major league high, and matched his loss total from 2006-07.

Wellemeyer (13-9) ended a three-game losing streak and finished his first full season in the rotation on a positive note, allowing three runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings. He added his fifth RBI of the season on an infield hit in the fourth.

Glaus hit his 26th homer in the second and singled in the fifth, and is 7-for-17 in the first five games of the final homestand.

Lopez’ sixth homer barely cleared the left-field wall down the third-base line in the third. He’s batting .383 in September and .377 since signing with the Cardinals in early August after being released by the Nationals.

Paul Bako had two hits and an RBI for the Reds, who got four hits, a walk and a sacrifice from the bottom three in the order. Shortstop Jeff Keppinger’s two-out fielding error led to two unearned runs in the fourth.

Both benches briefly cleared after the Cardinals’ Jason LaRue went well out of the baseline to try to break up a double play to end the eighth. Second baseman Jerry Hairston yelled at LaRue as he trotted off the field and LaRue had to be restrained by teammates from going after Hairston, and Hairston answered in the ninth with a two-run homer off Chris Perez.

Notes: The Cardinals named outfielder Daryl Jones, who batted .316 with 13 homers, 24 steals and a .407 on-base percentage at the Class A and AA level, their minor league player of the year. RHP Jess Todd, 22, climbed three levels in his second professional season and was a combined 8-6 with a 2.88 ERA. … Cardinals C Mark Johnson left the game after getting hit in the mask on Joey Votto’s backswing on a grounder to end the fifth.