Cardinals win pitching duel and sweep doubleheader

ST. LOUIS — Yadier Molina hit a two-run homer while Albert Pujols went hitless and fell short of the 700-homer milestone in Saturday’s doubleheader as the St. Louis Cardinals swept the Reds. from Cincinnati.

San Luis won 5-1 in the first game and 1-0 in the second, which required 11 innings to resolve.

Pujols started the first game at first and hit second for the first time this season. He went 0-for-3 with two walks in his first two plate appearances. Much of the 46,678 spectators loudly booed the decision to grant him two tickets.

In the second commitment, the Dominican entered as a pinch hitter and struck out.

His compatriot, manager Oliver Marmol, said placing Pujols frequently in games was an obvious decision, despite the fact that he is 42 years old.

“When you put a lineup in order to win a game, he has to be there,” he said. “It’s not a question of whether we’re going to face a left-hander or a right-hander. He will be there because he does a good job against everyone. It’s just a matter of giving him the necessary rest to ensure that he is fresh”.

PUjols hit his 698th home run on Friday, in a 6-5 win over Cincinnati. He is batting .317 (45-for-142) with 15 homers and 35 RBIs in 48 games since July 10.

Tommy Edman had three hits in the opening game for St. Louis, leader of the National League Central Division. Paul Goldschmidt and Brendan Donovan each drove in a run.

The double round became necessary after the postponement of the meeting on July 17 due to rain. It’s the sixth time the Cardinals have had to play double duty this season. It’s happened to the Reds five times.

TJ Friedl hit an RBI double in the seventh inning to drive in Cincinnati’s only run. Mike Minor (4-12) walked five in three innings, during which he gave up five runs and as many hits.

On the night, St. Louis prevailed thanks to an error by center fielder Nick Senzel on a shot. Senzel had advanced to third base in a five-man formation in the box, but was unable to prevent Andrew Kizner from scoring.

Steven Matz (5-3) wrapped up the 11th in his first appearance since late July, when he sprained his left knee during a start at Cincinnati.

Puerto Rican Héctor Cruz was defeated.

In the first game, for the Reds, the Dominican Arístides Aquino 4-0. The Mexican Alejo López 4-0. Colombian Donovan Solano 1-0.

For the Cardinals, Dominican Pujols 3-0. Puerto Rican Molina 4-2 with two runs scored and two produced.

In the second match, for the Reds, Colombian Donovan Solano 4-1. The Dominican Aristides Aquino 4-0. Cuban Jose Barrero 4-0.

For the Cardinals, the Dominican Albert Pujols 1-0.

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Cardinals win pitching duel and sweep doubleheader