Albert Pujols struck a home run and five RBIs to help the St. Louis Cardinals hammer the Milwaukee Brewers 12-3 in game two of their playoff series.
Pujols went four-for-five with three doubles for the Cardinals who rebounded from a 9-6 loss on Sunday to level the National League series at 1-1.
“When they come, they come in bunches,” said Pujols. “My main job is to try and get a good pitch to hit. Once in a while when you look for your pitches you are going to hit one out of the ballpark and today they came in bunches.”
Pujols smashed a two-run homer in the first inning and a two-run double in the third. He added an RBI double in the fifth and another double in the seventh.
The series now shifts to St. Louis, where Cardinals starting pitcher Chris Carpenter will face Brewers right-hander Yovani Gallardo on Wednesday.
Pujols, who can become a free agent after the World Series, was one-for-four in the game one loss.
He came into Monday’s contest with only one RBI in St. Louis’ first half-dozen playoff games.
“You learn from your mistakes,” Pujols said.
But Brewers manager wasn’t taking Pujols lightly heading into the series which will decide who goes to the World Series.
“The last time we saw them at their place he was swinging the bat just like this,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “You can’t make mistakes to him. You have to hit spots. You have to keep it down in the zone. He doesn’t miss too many mistakes.”
St. Louis starting pitcher Edwin Jackson went 4 1/3 innings, giving up one home run. Lance Lynn came on in relief and got credit for the win.
Milwaukee starter Shaun Marcum stumbled early, giving up five runs on seven hits in four innings and took the loss.
“We didn’t pitch well today. The bullpen didn’t do a good job,” Roenicke said.
Things really fell apart for Milwaukee in the seventh when the Cards scored four runs. Pujols led off with a double and Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina, David Freese and Nick Punto smacked RBI singles.
Roenicke added that the pitchers didn’t get much help from the fielders.
“They hit a lot of hard balls today and a lot of others went right through and between us. They did a job job of squaring up the mistakes we made.”