Albert Pujols hit his 697th career home run in the St. Louis Cardinals’ four-run ninth inning Sunday as they topped the host Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 to take the final two games of the weekend series.
With the Cardinals (83-58) trailing 2-0 entering the ninth against Chase De Jong (4-2), Tommy Edman doubled to right-center and scored on Corey Dickerson’s double to right.
Pujols hit his 18th home run of the season to center to give the Cardinals a 3-2 lead and move into fourth place alone on baseball’s all-time homer list, passing Alex Rodriguez. An out later, Tyler O’Neill hit his 14th homer, also to center.
Pittsburgh’s Greg Allen homered to right in the bottom of the ninth, his second of the year, to make it a one-run game.
St. Louis starter Jose Quintana, making his first start against his former team since he was traded last month, gave up one run and four hits in 5 2/3 innings, with four strikeouts and one walk. Chris Stratton (8-4) retired two batters in the eighth to pick up the win.
Ryan Helsley pitched the ninth for his 16th save. After Allen’s homer, Helsley got Ben Gamel to fly out to end the game.
Pittsburgh starter Mitch Keller pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing two hits, with six strikeouts and three walks.
Jack Suwinski also homered for the Pirates (51-88).
In the third, Allen led off for the Pirates with a single to right and stole second. Jason Delay singled to right, with Allen going to third. Oneil Cruz grounded into a forceout, with Delay out at second, and Allen came home for a 1-0 Pittsburgh lead.
As Bryan Reynolds struck out following Cruz’s at-bat, Pirates manager Derek Shelton argued over the third-strike swing call and was ejected by home-plate umpire Clint Vondrak. It was Shelton’s fourth ejection this year.
Against Jordan Hicks in the seventh, Suwinski led off with his 16th homer, to right-center, to increase Pittsburgh’s lead to 2-0. It was his second homer in as many days and his fifth hit of the series.
Alec Burleson’s two-out single to center in the eighth was his first hit in the major leagues and just the Cardinals’ third of the game, but St. Louis failed to cash in the runner.
–Field Level Media
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