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Pujols erupts for Cardinals

The Cardinals’ Albert Pujols tosses his bat after hitting a two-run homer in the first inning, the first of his four hits.

Associated Press

The Cardinals’ Albert Pujols tosses his bat after hitting a two-run homer in the first inning, the first of his four hits.

MILWAUKEE — Your turn, Albert Pujols.

The Cardinals slugger had one of the biggest postseason nights of his career in Game 2 of the NL Championship Series, going 4-for-5 with a home run, three doubles and five RBIs to lead St. Louis past the Brewers 12-3 on Monday.

Tied at one game, the series now shifts to St. Louis.

Pujols belted a two-run homer in the first, a two-run double in the third and an RBI double in the fifth then added a double in the seventh. The crowd cheered sarcastically when the Brewers finally retired him in the eighth.

His big hits came one night after Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder bashed the Brewers to a 9-6, come-from-behind victory.

This time, the big bats couldn't bring Milwaukee back, even at Miller Park. The best home team in the majors all season, the Brewers had won all four home games in the playoffs until Monday.

Pujols was 1-for-4 in Sunday night's loss, hitting into a double play with runners on first and third in the seventh inning. A run scored on the play, but it seemed to be an indication that Pujols wasn't quite on his game. He went into Monday with one RBI in the Cardinals' first six postseason games.

But Pujols struck a confident tone when asked about his struggles after Sunday night's loss, saying, "Tomorrow I can come and blow it out, and what are you going to say tomorrow?"

Blow it out, he did.

Rickie Weeks hit a two-run homer in the fourth for Milwaukee then was involved in a disputed play in the fifth.

With the bases loaded and one out, Weeks grounded into a double play, though replays showed he was safe. Weeks, hobbled by the lingering effects of a midseason left ankle injury, seemed upset when he was called out.

But that play didn't matter much after the Brewers gave up four runs in a backbreaking seventh inning. Fielder homered in the eighth, well after the outcome had been decided.

Cardinals starter Edwin Jackson, the former Ray, went 41/3 innings, giving up Weeks' home run. Lance Lynn got the win.

It was a short and ugly start by Milwaukee's Shaun Marcum, who gave up five runs on seven hits in four innings.

NLCS: Brewers 1,

Cardinals 1

Game 1: Brewers 9, Cardinals 6

Monday: Cardinals 12, Brewers 3

Wednesday, 8:05: Brewers (Gallardo, 17-10, 3.52) at Cardinals (Carpenter, 11-9, 3.45)

Thursday, 8:05: Brewers (Wolf, 13-10, 3.69) at Cardinals (Lohse, 14-8, 3.39)

Friday, 8:05: Brewers (Greinke, 16-6, 3.83) at Cardinals (Garcia, 13-7, 3.56)

Sunday, 4:05: Cardinals (TBA) at Brewers (TBA) *

Monday, 8:05: Cardinals (TBA) at Brewers (TBA) *

* If necessary; all games on TBS

Pujols erupts for Cardinals 10/10/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 12:28am]
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