Pujols homers, Cardinals beat Cubs 8-7
The first-place Cincinnati Reds needed a victory at San Diego and a loss by the Cardinals to win the division.
Pujols hit a three-run homer and Matt Pagnozzi(notes) drove in three runs as the Cardinals took an 8-0 lead in the fifth inning. The Cubs’ rally fell short, and they finished 35-46 at Wrigley Field this season.
Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook(notes) (3-4) pitched 5 1-3 innings and allowed three earned runs. He didn’t allow a hit until two outs in the fifth inning, then retired only two of his next 10 batters.
Jeff Smardzija (2-2) was tagged for eight runs on seven hits in 4 1-3 innings.
Pujols’ homer highlighted a four-run first inning. His drive into the wind landed on Waveland Avenue, and Smardzija walked the next two batters before Pagnozzi hit an RBI single with two outs.
Kosuke Fukudome(notes) had an RBI double in the sixth and Westbrook’s outing ended after walking Bobby Scales(notes) with one out. Scales later scored on pinch-hitter Micah Hoffpauir’s(notes) two-out single.
The Cubs closed to 8-7 in the seventh, helped by center fielder Colby Rasmus’(notes) two-base error. Reliever Mitchell Boggs(notes) struck out Alfonso Soriano(notes) and Welington Castillo(notes) to end the inning.
Notes: A CT scan on Cardinals reliever Blake Hawksworth(notes) was negative and he was to be released from the hospital a day after being hit in the face by a line drive. Hawksworth was hospitalized overnight after being struck by Sam Fuld’s(notes) shot in the fifth inning of Saturday’s game. He received about 20 stitches, but the scan showed no structural damage. … St. Louis went 34-47 on the road this year.