Albert Pujols leads Cardinals past Padres with walk-off RBI in extras
Posted on June 21, 2022
Veteran designated hitter Albert Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals will host the San Diego Padres in the final game of a three-game series Wednesday in St. Louis. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright delivers a pitch to the San Diego Padres in the second inning Tuesday at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
Future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols gave the St. Louis Cardinals their latest win with a walk-off sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 10th inning against the San Diego Padres at Busch Stadium.
Pujols went 1 for 3 with two RBIs in the 3-2 victory Tuesday in St. Louis. Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt drove in the other run with an RBI double. Third baseman Nolan Arenado went 2 for 4 in the win.
“I never change my mindset,” Pujols told reporters. “I take my approach out there and really trust my work and what I practice day in and day out.
“I got a good pitch to hit and just put it in the air.”
Neither team scored for the first two innings. Padres starter Blake Snell then walked Cardinals outfielder Brendan Donovan to lead off the bottom of the third. He struck out second baseman Tommy Edman in the next at-bat. Goldschmidt followed with his RBI double to center field.
Goldschmidt advanced to third on a wild pitch. He came around to score on the next at-bat when Pujols lifted a sacrifice fly to right field, which gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead.
The Cardinals held that advantage until the top of the eighth. Relief pitcher Giovanny Gallegos allowed a double to Padres catcher Jorge Alfaro in the second at-bat of the inning. Center fielder Trent Grisham settled in for the next at-bat.
He earned an even 2-2 count against Gallegos. The right-handed pitcher threw in a 93.8-mph fastball for his final offering of the exchange. Grisham smacked that pitch to right center field for a 427-foot, two-run homer.
The Grisham homer, which tied the game, led to extra innings. Pinch runner Jose Azocar started the 10th on second for the Padres.
Cardinals relief pitcher Drew VerHagen forced a fly out from infielder Ha-Seong Kim to start the half-inning. He then struck out Alfaro and issued a walk to Grisham.
Left fielder Jurickson Profar settled in for the next at-bat. He sent a single to left field. Lars Nootbar fielded the ball and fired a toss back through the infield, which got to catcher Yadier Molina just in time to get Azocar out at home and kept the game tied.
Edman started the bottom half of the inning on second for the Cardinals. Padres relief pitcher Taylor Rogers walked Paul Goldschmidt to lead off the half-inning. Edman then stole third base.
Pujols fell behind 0-2 in the final exchange of the night. Rogers missed the strike zone with his third offering.
He then threw a 81.3-mph slider to Pujols. The veteran slugger smashed the high delivery to left field, which allowed Edman to tag up and score the winning run.
Veteran pitcher Adam Wainwright allowed just two hits over seven shutout innings for the Cardinals, but was not on record for a decision. Snell allowed two hits and two runs over six innings for the Padres.
The Cardinals (28-21) host the Padres (30-19) in the series finale at 1:15 p.m. EDT Wednesday at Busch Stadium.