Albert Pujols’ pinch-hit grand slam backs fellow 40-something Adam Wainwright’s gem for St. Louis Cardinals

ST. LOUIS — Albert Pujols started a grand slam with pinch hit and drove in five carries, Adam Wainwright hit seven sharp innings and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Colorado Rockies 13-0 for a three-game sweep on Thursday.

“We’re playing right now, I think like we envisioned earlier this year,” said Pujols. “We haven’t, but we’ve had a few glimpses here and there. Now we’re playing the best baseball we’ve played all year.”

Wainwright called Pujols “amazing”.

“He looks just like he did when he walked up to me,” Wainwright said. “That’s what he’s supposed to look like, here in this stadium, when he’s doing these things.”

According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Cardinals are the first team in big league history where a player age 40 or older beats a grand slam, and another player age 40 or older, by seven shutout innings in the same to score game. Pujols is 42, 2 years older than Wainwright.

The NL Central-leading Cardinals won their fourth straight win and sent Colorado to its fifth straight loss. St. Louis has won 12 of its last 13 home games, winning 12 straight from the Rockies at Busch Stadium.

Pujols hit his 690th career home run, shutting out Austin Gomber and capping a five-run third run that made it 10-0. It was Pujols’ 16th career grand slam – his first as a pinch hitter – and it put him in a tie with Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Dave Kingman for the 10th most slams ever.

He became the first player to score a grand slam with a pinch hit in the first three innings of a game since the Yankees’ Bobby Murcer on July 25, 1971 against the Brewers

Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said he made the unconventional decision to pinch Pujols in the third inning for hitter-designate Brendan Donovan because he liked the matchup against Gomber.

“He killed left-handers,” Marmol said. “The game is never over but you can end the game with a good swing and it’s always good to wow the crowd. We felt good about it and he did his job.”

Pujols added an RBI single.

“I think at the end of the day I’m just part of a great organization, a great group of guys who want to win, young players who are watching, I’m blessed to be here and just helping these guys,” said Pujols. “It’s fun, trust me.”

Wainwright (10-9) gave up three hits, two of them infield singles. He knocked out seven, walked none, and retired his last 13 batters.

“My job today was just not to screw it up,” he said. “The offense was the story. They were incredible, you know, and Albert hit the Grand Slam, I mean we sort of live in his shadow, right where we’re supposed to be.”

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report. Albert Pujols’ pinch-hit grand slam backs fellow 40-something Adam Wainwright’s gem for St. Louis Cardinals

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