Pujols wins second NL MVP award

Published 3:08 am Tuesday, November 18, 2008

St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols won his second NL MVP award, powering past Philadelphia star Ryan Howard by a comfortable margin Monday.

Pujols hit .357 with 37 home runs and 116 RBIs while playing with a sore right elbow. He was rewarded despite the Cardinals’ fourth-place finish in the NL Central.

‘‘I wasn’t surprised at all,’’ Pujols said. ‘‘You have to consider everything. You have to put all the numbers together.’’

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Los Angeles outfielder Manny Ramirez and Milwaukee pitcher CC Sabathia also drew strong support after being traded by AL teams in July.

Pujols got 18 of the 32 first-place votes in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America and had 369 points. The first baseman added to the MVP award he won in 2005.

Howard, who led the majors with 48 homers and 146 RBIs for the World Series champion Phillies, drew 12 first-place votes and 308 points.

Milwaukee outfielder Ryan Braun was third with 139 points, with Ramirez fourth at 138. Houston’s Lance Berkman was fifth and Sabathia sixth.