ST. LOUIS -- Albert Pujols homered, doubled and drove in five runs, setting two team rookie records in the process, as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 9-4 Tuesday night.
Dustin Hermanson (13-12) allowed two runs in five innings as the Cardinals won for the eighth time in nine games. They entered the game tied for the NL wild card lead with San Francisco, which played NL Central-leading Houston.
The second game after baseball's resumption was a sellout of 41,653 -- more than 10,000 higher than Monday -- but had little of the patriotic flavor. The only reason Busch Stadium was packed was because of the first of two Mark McGwire bobblehead doll giveaways.
Pujols hit a two-run double in the first, his 41st of the season, to break Joe Medwick's franchise rookie record set in 1933. He hit a three-run homer, his 35th, in the third, to give him 117 RBIs.
That's three more than Ray Jablonski had in 1953. Pujols long ago eclipsed Jablonski's previous record of 21 homers that year.
Pujols is three homers off the NL record held by Frank Robinson (1956) and Wally Berger (1930).
Devon White and Geoff Jenkins homered and Lou Collier had a run-scoring single for the Brewers, who have lost four in a row and been outscored 27-5 in the process. Jenkins' two-run homer off Luther Hackman in the seventh, his 18th, cut the gap to 8-4.
Hermanson ignored a stiff neck that's bothered him since the weekend, ending a three-game losing streak. He gave up six hits, including Devon White's 14th homer in the third, and struck out five with two walks.
The Cardinals were outscored 16-3 during Hermanson's losing streak. This time, Jim Edmonds, Fernando Vina, Placido Polanco and J.D. Drew also had RBI singles for St. Louis, which led 8-2 after four innings.
Brewers starter Jamey Wright (9-12) lasted three innings, giving up six runs on five hits. He's 1-7 with a 6.90 ERA in 13 starts since the All-Star break.
NOTES: Pujols has hit in 18 of his last 19 games, going 27-for-75 (.360) with six homers and 20 RBIs. ... Wright has hit 17 batters, one shy of his franchise record set last year. ... The Cardinals are 52-22 when scoring first. ... Jose Hernandez and Richie Sexson of the Brewers are 1-2 in the NL strikeout race at 165 and 163, respectively. Sexson struck out three times and Hernandez once Tuesday. ... Hermanson entered the game 1-4 with a 5.71 ERA for his career against the Brewers.