Next time Albert Pujols comes to the plate with a chance to win it, the Chicago Cubs might just take the bat out of his hands. Even with the bases empty.
After Pujols hit his second homer of the game with two outs in the 12th inning to give host St. Louis a 5-4 victory yesterday, Cubs manager Mike Quade second-guessed his decision to pitch to the three-time NL MVP.
“I’m not in the habit of walking people with two out and nobody on,’’ Quade said. “I understand how good this guy is, so we’ll have to rethink that a little bit.
“You figure you can keep him in the ballpark, you take your chances, and we couldn’t,’’ he said.
Pujols hit the ninth game-ending homer of his career and first since Aug. 16, 2009, against the Padres on a 2-and-1 pitch from Jeff Samardzija (3-2) as the Cardinals prevailed in 95-degree heat. He has 41 career multihomer games, two of them this season.
“You can do a lot of good things in two months and you can struggle in two months,’’ Pujols said. “Hopefully, it’s my time now.’’
Yankees 3, Angels 2 — CC Sabathia came within one out of his second complete game in three starts, Alex Rodriguez hit a go-ahead two-run homer and Robinson Cano also went deep, leading New York at Anaheim, Calif.
Rodriguez snapped a 1-all tie in the sixth with his 10th homer of the season and 623d of his career, driving Ervin Santana’s 1-and-1 pitch into the rock pile in left-center field after a leadoff walk to Curtis Granderson. The two RBIs increased A-Rod’s total to 1,864, tying Mel Ott for ninth place on the all-time list. Next up is Willie Mays at 1,903.
Dodgers 11, Reds 8 — Matt Kemp hit a tying grand slam in the eighth inning for his second homer of the game, and Jamey Carroll singled in the go-ahead run in the 11th, sending Los Angeles over host Cincinnati.
Rockies 2, Giants 1 — Troy Tulowitzki had three hits and drove in a run, Jhoulys Chacin pitched six effective innings, and Colorado beat San Francisco.
Mets 5, Braves 0 — Dillon Gee outpitched Jair Jurrjens to remain unbeaten this season and Jose Reyes hit a bases-loaded triple, leading host New York past Atlanta.
Pirates 6, Phillies 3 — Charlie Morton (6-2) pitched seven solid innings and Pittsburgh sent visiting Philadelphia to its fourth consecutive loss.
Diamondbacks 2, Nationals 0 — Joe Saunders (3-5) escaped two early jams to go seven innings in a combined four-hitter, lifting host Arizona over Washington.
Brewers 3, Marlins 2 — Prince Fielder homered and Yuniesky Betancourt hit a tiebreaking RBI double in Milwaukee’s two-run seventh inning, helping the Brewers beat Florida in Miami.
Padres 6, Astros 3 — Aaron Harang (6-2) pitched into the seventh inning, Brad Hawpe had a two-run double and San Diego beat Houston to win consecutive home games for the first time this season.
Tigers 4, White Sox 2 — Miguel Cabrera hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning, sending Justin Verlander (6-3) and Detroit to victory in Chicago.
Twins 7, Royals 2 — Alexi Casilla matched a career high with four hits and drove in two runs, leading Minnesota over host Kansas City.
Rangers 4, Indians 0 — Derek Holland (5-1) tossed a five-hitter for his second career shutout and Texas won in Cleveland.
Orioles 5, Blue Jays 3 — Mark Reynolds hit a grand slam and Jake Arrieta (7-3) pitched six effective innings to lead host Baltimore over Toronto.
Rays 3, Mariners 2 — Jeremy Hellickson (7-3) picked up where he left off in May, pitching neatly into the eighth inning to lead Tampa Bay’s victory in Seattle.