After getting swept by Houston from April 12-14 at Busch Stadium in the first series between the teams this season, St. Louis has won five straight from the Astros, including a 10-3 victory on Saturday.
Pujols homered twice, going 4-for-5 with three RBIs, and has heated up at the plate recently after a slow start to the season by his standards.
“I’ve been looking for this day for a while, it’s been a real roller-coaster ride,” said Pujols, a career .325 hitter that was batting just .287 with seven home runs and 17 RBIs after April.
Pujols has five homers in his last seven games, raising his season total to 14 to tie Arizona’s Steve Finley, Florida’s Mike Lowell and Colorado’s Jeromy Burnitz and Vinny Castilla for the major league lead.
St. Louis has benefitted from Pujols’ power surge, as the Cardinals have won three in a row following a three-game losing streak. The team is a season high-tying four games above .500.
Conversely, the Astros are struggling. Houston has lost seven of its last nine games and 11 of 16 after beginning the month with an 8-2 mark.
More importantly, the Astros are one loss away from suffering their second sweep to the Cardinals in their own ballpark.
“All losses are hard,” said Astros second baseman Jeff Kent. “Right now, we’re trying to play the best we can and not wanting to lose any games.”