Albert Pujols Makes Historic Pitching Debut in Cardinals Blowout Win

The St. Louis Cardinals beat the San Francisco Giants 15-6 on Sunday night, with veteran slugger Albert Pujols pitching in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina won the game, setting a major league record most wins by a starting battery.

Albert Pujols Makes Historic Pitching Debut in Cardinals Blowout Win

Albert Pujols Makes Historic Pitching Debut in Cardinals Blowout Win

Molina hit a home run and knocked in four runs, Wainwright pitched six strong innings, and St. Louis pounded on Carlos Rodón from the get-go. After dropping the first two games of the series to struggling Baltimore, the Cardinals bounced back to win the last game and the series. Goldschmidt drove in a trio of runs.

The Cardinals’ DH, Pujols, made his pitching debut in the ninth inning, 22 years after he first appeared in a major league game. He allowed Luis Gonzalez to hit a three-run homer and Joey Bart to hit a solo drive, but he still got the final three outs with plenty of room to spare.

When Pujols, then 42 years old, made his major league pitching debut, he became the oldest player to do so since Lena Blackburne, who also pitched for the first time at age 42 in his final major league game as a player/supervisor for the 1929 Chicago White Sox.

With their 203rd win together, Wainwright and Molina set a new major league record for starting batteries. From 1949 to 1963, the Boston Red Sox and Milwaukee Braves were led by Warren Spahn and Del Crandall, who combined for 202 victories.

The St. Louis combination ranks third all-time in terms of most games started as a team (311), behind only Spahn/Crandall (316) and Mickey Lolich/Bill Freehan (324) of the Detroit Tigers (1963-1975).

San Francisco, which had won six in a row, lost for the second game in a row despite a two-run homer by Joc Pederson.

With a Two-Run Single,

Molina capped a four-run first inning explosion for the Cubs against Rodón (4-2). In the fifth inning, the score was 11-0 when the 39-year-old catcher hit a two-run homer off of reliever Zack Littell.

A pair of runs were scored on three hits that Wainwright (4-3) surrendered. He had five strikeouts and two walks. Right-hander, age 40, retired 14 of the first 15 batters he saw. In the fifth inning, with two outs, Gonzalez got the Giants’ first hit with a single.

In 3 2/3 innings, Rodón gave up eight runs on 10 hits. He got three punches in and walked one. In his first six starts this year, he allowed only seven earned runs.

By the end of the sixth inning, each starter for St. Louis had already recorded a win.

Juan Yepez, a rookie outfielder for St. Louis, hit a single in the first frame. He is the only Cardinals rookie since Luis Alicea in 1988, when he started his career with a 23-game hitting streak, to reach safely in each of his first 11 games.

Before finally winning their first Sunday night game all of last season, the Cardinals went a dismal 0-4.

With the bases loaded and no outs in the seventh inning, Gonzalez was sent in from centre field to pitch. After allowing a run-scoring single to Dylan Carlson, he was able to get Harrison Bader to fly out.

Step up

RHP from San Francisco In 1 2/3 innings of relief work after being called up from Triple-A Sacramento, Yunior Marte allowed two earned runs.

Donovan Walton, infielder, has been sent to the Sacto roster. With the Giants, Walton managed just one hit in four opportunities.

Room for Trainers

RHP Luke Weaver, St. Louis Cardinals As a result of increased shoulder pain, Alex Reyes has been taken out of commission. Since Reyes had been absent for the entire season, he experienced more pain while playing catch.

He can rest up and wait for the MRI results he had last week. I don’t know if it’s the same place,” said supervisor Oliver Marmol. Nonetheless, “it’s shoulder pain.”

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