Cardinals pull off comeback victory against Cubs

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

AP Sports Writer

CHICAGO (AP) -- Albert Pujols left a lasting impression on the Chicago Cubs.

Pujols hit his third homer of the game in the ninth inning, a tiebreaking shot that sent the St. Louis Cardinals to an 11-8 comeback victory over Chicago on a testy Tuesday.

Pujols went 5-for-5 with a double and five RBIs, helping St. Louis rally from a six-run deficit in the final meeting of the season between the heated rivals. The Cardinals left Wrigley Field with a 10-game lead over the third-place Cubs in the NL Central.

A day after the teams nearly scuffled, there was more trouble. St. Louis starter Matt Morris threw a fastball behind Corey Patterson in the first, prompting a warning to both benches from plate umpire Tim Tschida.

Cubs reliever LaTroy Hawkins, who gave up Pujols' go-ahead homer, was ejected after he started yelling at Tschida as he walked toward the dugout in the middle of the ninth.

An angry Hawkins had to be restrained by manager Dusty Baker and several Cubs coaches from going at Tschida before he was finally forced into the Chicago dugout.

Pujols hit a two-run drive off Hawkins (2-2), and Reggie Sanders added a solo shot in the three-run ninth as St. Louis roared back after trailing 7-1.

Jason Isringhausen got three outs for his 24th save in 28 chances, retiring Aramis Ramirez on a shallow fly with the bases loaded to end it.

Pujols had an RBI double in the first, hit his 25th homer in the third, No. 26 in the seventh off Kyle Farnsworth and then his 27th in the ninth. It was his first three-homer game.

So Taguchi's homer off Farnsworth in the eighth tied the game at 8.

St. Louis, now 13-2 in July, captured the season series with the Cubs 11-8. Ray King (3-0) got the win with a scoreless eighth.

Chicago jumped on longtime nemesis Morris for seven second-inning runs but couldn't hold it in a devastating defeat.

The benches emptied Monday night when a fiery Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano hit the Cardinals' Jim Edmonds with pitches twice and was ejected, the latest chapter in a long-running feud.

Glendon Rusch, filling in for Mark Prior, allowed five runs in five-plus innings.

Rusch left in the sixth after Pujols, Scott Rolen and Edmonds hit consecutive singles to pull the Cardinals to 8-3.

Reliever Francis Beltran walked the first two batters he faced, forcing in a run, and Taguchi's infield single off Beltran's glove made it 8-5. Pinch-hitter Ray Lankford hit a sacrifice fly off Kent Mercker to cut it to two.

Derrek Lee's two-run homer after Moises Alou led off the second with a walk.

Ramirez doubled to right-center and Michael Barrett -- who had been jawing with the Cardinals' dugout and had to be restrained Monday night -- followed with another two-run homer to right.

Even Rusch got to Morris, hitting a long drive off the ivy in left-center. After Todd Walker walked, Patterson hit a two-run double, moved up on a wild pitch and scored on Alou's single that finished Morris.

Ramirez homered off Cal Eldred in the third to make it 8-2.

In his shortest outing of the season, Morris gave up six hits and seven runs in 1 2-3 innings, including the two homers that ran his NL-leading total to 26.

Notes: Morris is 11-3 against the Cubs -- the 11 wins are his most against any team. ... Cardinals LF Taguchi also made a leaping catch against the ivy to rob Patterson of a hit in the seventh. ... Prior threw a five-inning simulated game without pain in his elbow and hopes to rejoin the rotation Sunday in Philadelphia.

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