ST. LOUIS (AP)—Tony Batista is not likely to forget his 200th home run— or No. 199 for that matter.
The grand slam, the eighth for Batista, was his 200th home run.
“I didn’t know that (was) 200,” Batista said. “I think it’s a great moment and something to remember, especially in that situation.”
Earlier in the game, the Cardinals’ Albert Pujols had a moment of his own to remember.
Pujols became the first player to hit at least 30 home runs in his each of his first four seasons on a major league roster when he hit a two-run homer to straightaway center off Montreal spot starter Sun-Woo Kim with one out in the first inning.
New York Yankees’ Joe DiMaggio hit 29 home runs in his rookie season, then hit at least 30 in his next five. Mark McGwire played only 18 games in 1986 for Oakland, then hit more than 30 homers in his first four full seasons.
Pujols, who hit a career-high 43 home runs last season, is also the first player in Cardinals history to hit at least 30 home runs in four straight seasons.
Brian Schneider led off the 12th with a walk against Dan Haren (0-2) and advanced to second on pinch-hitter Livan Hernandez’s sacrifice. Schneider then moved to third on Brad Wilkerson’s groundout. Terrmel Sledge walked and Jose Vidro was intentionally walked to load the bases. Batista then hit Haren’s first pitch over the wall in left.
Batista was expecting a fastball from Haren and he got it.
“He threw a lot of balls and in that situation with the bases loaded I said, ‘I’m looking for fastball and I’m going to hit it.”
Haren was not upset about the pitch to Batista.
“It wasn’t that bad,” he said. “There were other pitches worse than that in that inning. He went down and got it.”
In the ninth, Batista homered just inside the left-field pole off Jason Isringhausen after Vidro reached when So Taguchi tried to make an easy basket catch on his liner but dropped the ball for an error. It was Isringhausen’s fifth blown save in 32 opportunities.
“I made one bad pitch and he hit it a long way,” Isringhausen said. “You can’t make a bad pitch to someone who’s been around as long as he has.”
The six RBIs matched Batista’s career high and it was his 12th career mulithomer game.
Chad Cordero (3-1) pitched two innings for the win.
“Pretty much, everybody contributed,” Montreal manager Frank Robinson said. “It seems like the belief is there now that this ballclub can win ballgames. I hope it will continue for a while because the first half of the season was long.”
Montreal starter Tony Armas Jr. had trouble getting loose during pregame warmups and Kim took his place. The injury wasn’t announced until after Jason Marquis threw the game’s first pitch. Kim lasted four innings and gave up five runs on six hits with one strikeout. Armas is day to day.
Jim Edmonds hit his 29th homer as St. Louis lost for just the second time in nine games.
Marquis allowed four runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings with a strikeout. He also drove in his eighth run—best among pitchers—with a two-out single in the third, and doubled and scored in the fifth.
Wilkerson pulled Montreal to 3-1 leading off the third inning with his 20th homer, matching a career high.
Edmonds made it 5-1 with an opposite-field, two-run homer to right in the fourth inning.
Vidro drove in a run for the Expos in the fifth, and pinch-hitter Endy Chavez chased Marquis with a two-out, RBI double in the sixth.
Sledge’s run-scoring single in the sixth made it 6-4.
It was the 100th grand slam at Busch Stadium, which opened in May 1966. … Marquis’ 17-inning scoreless streak was snapped by Wilkerson’s home run. … Montreal (1-5) won for the first time in extra innings.