Molina homers, Pujols goes hitless as Playing cards sweep Reds

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Yadier Molina hit a two-run drive whereas Albert Pujols went hitless in his quest for 700 homers, and the St. Louis Cardinals swept a doubleheader from the Cincinnati Reds 5-1 and 1-0 in 11 innings on Saturday.

Pujols began at first base within the opener and hit second for the primary time this season. He went 0 for 3 with two walks in his first two plate appearances. The sold-out crowd of 46,678 loudly booed each walks.

He pinch hit and struck out within the second sport.

St. Louis supervisor Oliver Marmol mentioned enjoying Pujols so continuously is a no brainer regardless of his age of 42.

“While you put a profitable lineup on the market, he’s in it,” Marmol mentioned. “It’s not a matter of whether or not we’re going through a lefty or a righty. He’s in there as a result of he’s doing a pleasant job towards all people. It’s only a matter now of resting him to ensure he’s recent.”

Pujols hit profession homer No. 698 throughout Friday night time’s 6-5 victory over Cincinnati. He’s hitting .317 (45 for 142) with 15 homers and 35 RBIs in 48 video games since July 10.

Tommy Edman had three hits within the opener for the NL Central-leading Cardinals. Paul Goldschmidt and Brendan Donovan every drove in a run.

The doubleheader was scheduled after a July 17 rainout. It was the sixth doubleheader for the Cardinals this season, and No. 5 for the Reds.

St. Louis gained the night time sport when Andrew Knizner scored on a throwing error by middle fielder Nick Senzel, who was enjoying third base in a five-man infield.

“I caught it, and he established his lane,” Senzel mentioned. “It was clearly in my manner of attempting to throw it residence. I attempted to provide myself somewhat room to throw it, and I attempted to make throw, and it simply hit him.”

St. Louis starter José Quintana allowed two hits, hit a batter, and struck out six in eight innings. St. Louis has gone 8-1 in his 9 begins since buying him from Pittsburgh on Aug. 1.

“It’s superb,” Quintana mentioned of that success. “For certain each begin I need to win, however I believe we get higher emotions if the staff will get the W.”

Steven Matz (5-3) pitched the eleventh in his first look since spraining his left knee in a begin at Cincinnati in late July. Hector Cruz (0-1) was the loser.

St. Louis (87-60) elevated its NL Central result in eight video games over second-place Milwaukee.

TJ Friedl hit an RBI double within the seventh to account for Cincinnati’s solely run within the opener. Mike Minor (4-12) issued 5 walks in three innings and was charged with 5 runs and 5 hits.

“I used to be battling my management,” Minor mentioned. “I simply couldn’t throw the place I needed to. I used to be attempting to throw strikes however clearly I couldn’t. In case you can’t throw a strike, it’s powerful to get guys out.”

The lowly Reds misplaced for the eighth time in 9 video games.

“I assumed we hit some balls laborious however their protection made some good performs within the outfield,” Cincinnati supervisor David Bell mentioned.

St. Louis right-hander Dakota Hudson (8-7) pitched a career-high eight innings of six-hit ball in his first large league begin since Aug. 30.

“That’s what we’ve been searching for all yr,” Marmol mentioned. “Tremendous environment friendly. Total, that’s precisely what we’ve been ready for. Legit outing.”

Hudson was optioned to Triple-A Memphis on Sept. 5.

“I’ve been attempting all yr to get ready to assist us win,” Hudson mentioned. “I needed to have that psychological discuss with myself and say that’s what we’re going to do. The four-hour drive to Memphis is an ideal time for it. As a lot as I hated it and it did make me offended, possibly it should assist me flip the web page.”

The Cardinals jumped in entrance with two runs within the second. Edman singled in Donovan, and Goldschmidt drove in Molina with a bases-loaded stroll. It was the Reds’ 14th bases-loaded stroll this season, second-most in MLB.

Molina hit his fifth homer within the third, a drive to left that capped a three-run inning.

“I gave him a (batting follow) fastball,” Minor mentioned. “I might have hit that one out.”

It was Molina’s third homer in September.

“He’s executed a pleasant job,” Marmol mentioned. “His strategy is what it must be. He’s utilizing the entire discipline. He’s choosing his spots to do harm.”


Pujols made his 1,653rd and 1,654th appearances in a staff win, shifting previous Stan Musial (1941-63) for fourth in MLB historical past. Pujols’ two walks gave him 999 with the Cardinals and 1,369 general.


St. Louis is an MLB-best 19-6 (.760) on Saturday this season (9-3 at residence), its most profitable day of the week. With the win, the Cardinals established a single-season franchise file for Saturday victories, surpassing the 1962 (18-11) and 2014 (18-9) golf equipment.


Reds: RHP Raynel Espinal was optioned to Triple-A Louisville. … RHP Kyle Dowdy was recalled from the taxi squad to function the twenty ninth participant for the doubleheader. He pitched 4 scoreless innings in his second large league look of the season.

Cardinals: Earlier than Saturday’s first sport, Hudson was added because the twenty ninth participant for the doubleheader.


Reds: RHP Hunter Greene (proper shoulder pressure) was reinstated from the 15-day injured record. He was slated to begin the second sport. … RHP Graham Ashcraft (proper biceps soreness) is about for a second rehab outing for Triple-A Louisville on Monday.

Cardinals: OF Dylan Carlson (left thumb sprain) got here off the 10-day injured record and began in middle discipline. … OF Tyler O’Neill (left hamstring pressure) was positioned on the 10-day IL.


Reds: RHP Luis Cessa (3-3, 5.25 ERA) will probably be making his sixth begin since shifting into the beginning rotation on Aug. 22.

Cardinals: LHP Jordan Montgomery (8-4, 3.20 ERA) is scheduled to make his second profession begin towards the Reds and first since July 25, 2017, as a member of the New York Yankees.


Extra AP MLB: and

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