SAN LUIS (AP) – Albert Pujols rewarded a crowd that worshiped him by hitting a home run on his return to Busch Stadium, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-2 on Tuesday night.
Justin Turner hit a pair of homers, while Will Smith hit another home run for the Dodgers, who are battling for a postseason berth and winning for the sixth time in eight games.
St. Louis has lost five of six.
Pujols, a star slugger who helped the Cardinals win two World Series titles, made his second appearance at Busch after playing for St. Louis from 2001 to 2011.
The public cheered the Dominican for 40 seconds when his name
e was announced, before his turn at bat in the first inning. Puerto Rican Yadier Molina, a teammate of Pujols for years, stood in front of the plate to prolong the acclamation.
The two embraced before Pujols got into the batter’s box.
Soon enough, Pujols found JA Happ’s fourth pitch and sent the ball over the left-field wall. It was the 679th homer of his career and his 17th of the season.
Alex Vesia (3-1) took the victory. Happ (8-8) allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings.
For the Dodgers, Pujols 4-1 with a run scored and an RBI.
For the Cardinals, Puerto Rican Molina 4-1. Panamanian Edmundo Sosa 1-1.