Cardinals rally for 7-6 win

Sunday, July 10, 2011
Diamondbacks baserunner Chris Young is tagged out by Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols after Young was caught in a rundown between third and home plate during the second inning Saturday. (TOM GANNAM ~ Associated Press)

ST. LOUIS -- Albert Pujols looks like himself again. So do the St. Louis Cardinals.

Pujols hit a tying drive in the eighth inning for his first homer since returning from the disabled list, and rookie pinch-hitter Tony Cruz hit a game-ending RBI double in the ninth, capping the Cardinals' comeback from a four-run deficit in a 7-6 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night.

"I'm right where I want to be and it feels good to help the ballclub win," Pujols said. "I was just part of that group and it feels good to be part of that group.

"That's how you need to win some games, getting a lot of help from the bench and guys coming through big time."

It was the Cardinals' biggest comeback since they came from four runs down to beat the Dodgers 5-4 on July 18, 2010, and pulled them into a first-place tie with Milwaukee in the NL Central. Cruz got his first career game-winning hit.

Cardinals pinch-hitter Tony Cruz, center, is mobbed by teammates Yadier Molina, left, Nick Punto and Lance Berkman, back, after Cruz delivered the game-winning double during the ninth inning Saturday in St. Louis.

"You can only get through Pujols, [Matt] Holliday and [Lance] Berkman so many times," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said.

Pujols' 18th homer, and first in five games back from a broken left wrist, was a two-run shot off Yhency Brazoban that tied it at 6-6. Pujols was 3 for 4 with a walk and three RBIs, a breakout game after going 1 for 12 during his first four games back.

Pujols has 1,982 hits, passing Red Schoendienst for fifth on the franchise's career list with a single in the seventh. The homer was his 30th in the eighth inning or later to tie or put the Cardinals ahead, the most in the majors during his 11-year career, according to the Society of American Baseball Research.

"We tried to go fastball in, it was kind of middle down and it's Pujols, man," Arizona catcher Miguel Montero said.

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