Cardinals Major League Notebook: 07/04/09

Veteran Albert Pujols and rookie Jarrett Hoffpauir team up to take down the Cincinnati Reds in the final two frames Friday night.

Inside Pitch

Albert Pujols' eighth-inning grand slam Friday night broke two of Stan Musial's club records for most slams in a season (four) and for a career (10). It was Pujols' sixth hit in seven at-bats with the bases loaded this season, and he's driven in 20 runs in bases-filled spots this year.

 

But in the ninth inning, before doubling home another run, giving him 82 RBIs for the season, Pujols turned instructor.

 

With rookie second baseman Jarrett Hoffpauir, who had walked on four pitches in his major league debut ahead of Pujols' slam, at bat himself with the bases loaded and two out in the ninth, Pujols, in the on-deck circle, summoned Hoffpauir before the latter faced lefty Daniel Ray Herrera.

 

"He told me to relax, get a pitch to hit and punch it the other way," said the 26-year-old Hoffpauir. "Albert said (Herrera's) changeup was his best pitch."

 

Hoffpauir then singled home two runs and the Cardinals were on their way to a victory that gave them the lead in the National League Central Division.

 

The pitch to Hoffpauir was a changeup, just as Pujols had said. "That's why he's so good. That's why he's Albert," said Hoffpauir.

 

The rookie said he was so nervous on his walk "my knees were touching each other, I was shaking so hard."

 

CARDINALS 7, REDS 4: To say that 1B Albert Pujols owns Cincinnati RHP David Weathers would be something of an understatement. Pujols was nine for 18 with two home runs against Weathers before the veteran was summoned to face Pujols with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth inning. Pujols cracked the 350th home run of his career, a grand slam, erasing a 3-0 Cincinnati lead.


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