Cardinals 10, Dodgers 7
Rickey Henderson extended his record for leadoff homers to 81 and Jeromy Burnitz homered twice for the Dodgers. Albert Pujols became the fourth player to hit 100 home runs in his first three major league seasons as the teams set a record for home runs by two teams at Dodger Stadium, which opened in 1962.
The previous record was established on May 25, 1979, when Los Angeles outhomered Cincinnati 7-1.
Williams (13-3) tied Atlanta’s Russ Ortiz for the NL lead in victories despite surrendering home runs to four of his first 14 batters. The All-Star right-hander allowed six runs and 10 hits in seven-plus innings, struck out four and walked none en route to his fifth win in six decisions.
Jason Isringhausen got three outs for his seventh save in eight attempts.
Odaliz Perez (6-8) lost for the sixth time in eight decisions, allowing eight runs—seven earned—six hits and four walks over 3 2-3 innings. The left-hander, who spent the All-Star break in the Dominican Republic, was fined an undisclosed amount by the Dodgers after arriving late for the team’s first game back on Thursday.
The Cardinals extended their lead to 5-3 in the third when Burnitz’s two-out error in center field allowed Rolen to score from first base on a single by Edgar Renteria.
Burnitz redeemed himself in the bottom half with his 20th homer, a two-run shot that followed a two-out single by Paul Lo Duca and tied the score.
Williams got into the act in the fourth, hitting his third career homer in 293 at-bats, sending Perez’s 3-2 pitch into the left field seats.
Pujols made it 8-5 three batters later after a single by Bo Hart, tying Jim Edmonds for the team home run lead at 29 each. The drive to center field on Perez’s final pitch enabled Pujols to join Hall of Famers Ralph Kiner (114), Eddie Mathews (112) and Joe DiMaggio (107) as the only players with 100 or more career homers in their first three big league seasons.
After the Cardinals went up 4-0 on Rolen’s 20th homer and Eduardo Perez’s seventh, Henderson, in his third start following a 56-game stint with the Newark Bears of the independent Atlantic League, drove Williams’ second pitch of the game into the pavilion in left-center. It was the 297th career homer bythe 25-year veteran, who also went deep on Friday night.
Pujols, who wasn’t chosen until the 13th round of the 1999 draft, is the seventh-youngest player to hit 100 career homers. The only ones to do it at an earlier age, starting with the youngest, were Mel Ott, Tony Conigliaro, Mathews, Alex Rodriguez, Andruw Jones, Johnny Bench and Hank Aaron. … Henderson’s leadoff homer was the first this season by the Dodgers. … Burnitz’s multihomer game was his second this season and 18th of his career,including a pair of three-homer efforts.