Pujols delivers as Cardinals outlast Reds in 13 innings, 5-3
CINCINNATI (AP) — Albert Pujols hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the 13th inning, Lars Nootbaar added a two-run homer and the St. Louis Cardinals twice used five-man infields to stop the Cincinnati Reds and pull out a 5-3 win on Wednesday night.
In his final game in Cincinnati, Pujols shook off going hitless in five at-bats to deliver against Chase Anderson (0-2), driving in automatic runner Paul Goldschmidt with one out. Nootbaar went deep two batters later.
“I know he enjoyed it,” St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol said of Pujols, who plans to retire after the season. “His last at-bat — he’s done a lot of damage in this ballpark. I enjoyed it.”
The NL Central-leading Cardinals first used an extra infielder in the 11th with Colin Moran on third and nobody out. Moran held up on Jose Barrero’s groundout and Jake Fraley grounded to shortstop Tommy Edman, who threw Moran out at the plate — a call that survived a replay review.
The Cardinals went to five infielders again with one out in the 12th and Edman threw out Austin Romine trying to score on Alejo Lopez’s grounder, helping Andre Pallante (6-4) get the win. Pallante worked the final three innings, allowing Fraley’s RBI single in the 13th.
“That was a cool situation,” Edman said. “It’s kind of a unique shift. It was fun to see it pay off. Pallante’s a big ground pitcher. It helped that both runners are sort of slow. I just try to put in a position where they can get the tag.”
“You’ve got to win a lot of different ways,” Marmol said. “It felt like a National League game tonight. That was fun.”
Pujols remains at 694 home runs, two behind Alex Rodriguez for fourth all-time.
The Reds honored Pujols and Yadier Molina, who’s also playing his final season, during a pregame ceremony. Joey Votto narrated a highlight video before he and Reds manager David Bell presented engraved bats to Pujols and Adam Wainwright, who represented Molina while the catcher was warming up starting pitcher José Quintana in the bullpen.
The Cardinals have won four of their last five games.
The Reds grabbed a 2-0 lead in the third on back-to-back RBI singles by Jonathan India and Nick Senzel.
Nolan Arenado tied the game with a two-run homer off the left field foul pole in the fourth.
Reds left-hander Mike Minor was denied in his bid to win a third straight start for the first time since 2019 for Texas. Minor lasted 4 2/3 innings, allowing four hits and two runs with two walks and one strikeout. He also hit a batter.
Quintana also went 4 2/3 innings. The Reds reached him for seven hits and two runs with a walk and a strikeout.
Buck Farmer, Cincinnati’s third of five relievers, came in with one out in the seventh to strike out Corey Dickerson and get Goldschmidt to ground out with runners on second and third.
“It was unbelievable,” Bell said. “The Cardinals are a great team, and I’m just so proud of how our team battled and did every thing we could to win that game. I feel that our team deserved to win that game. Of course, the Cardinals did as well. It was a tough game but a great game to be a part of. It is a reminder of what a great game it is.”
ON A ROLL
India extended his career-best hitting streak to 14 games (18-for-54), the best on the Reds this season and the longest active streak in the majors.
Cardinals: Minor hit Edman on his left elbow pad with two outs in the third inning.
Reds: First baseman Donovan Solano and second baseman Alejo Lopez survived a collision that sent both tumbling to the ground while Lopez was making a lunging catch of Arenado’s popup to end the first inning.
Cardinals: LHP Jordan Montgomery (7-3, 3.28 ERA), Friday’s scheduled starter against the Cubs, pitched a complete-game, one-hit shutout in his last start against Chicago on Aug. 22 at Wrigley Field.
Reds: RHP Luis Cessa (3-2, 5.36) is scheduled to make his fourth start since being moved from the bullpen when Cincinnati opens a series against Colorado on Friday.
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