Series: Game 2 of 4

St. Louis leads 2-0 (as of 8/12)

Game 1: Monday, August 11
St. Louis6Final
Game 2: Tuesday, August 12
St. Louis10Final
Game 3: Wednesday, August 13
St. Louis5Final
Game 4: Thursday, August 14
St. Louis4Final

Cardinals 10

(63-56, 29-31 away)

Pirates 6

(54-63, 25-34 home)

    7:05 PM ET, August 12, 2003

    PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

    123456789 R H E
    STL 600301000 10 12 1
    PIT 200002011 6 12 2

    W: B. Tomko (9-7)

    L: J. Fogg (6-7)

    S: J. Simontacchi (1)

    Pujols extends hit streak to 26 games with HR

    PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Albert Pujols frets and fusses before a game if he doesn't feel right. He prefers to stay with a routine, get everything down right and take that approach into his first at-bat.

    Apparently, it's working.

    Pujols and Tino Martinez hit three-run homers before Pittsburgh retired a batter, and the St. Louis Cardinals rode the six-run first inning to a 10-6 victory Tuesday night.

    It was the second straight night Pujols has homered in the first inning and his third straight game with a momentum-swinging homer. His game-winning shot in the eighth off Braves bullpen ace John Smoltz gave St. Louis a 3-2 win Sunday.

    Pujols extended the Cardinals' longest hitting streak in 32 years to 26 games and tied Kenny Lofton and Nomar Garciaparra for the longest streak in the majors this season.

    "That's what you want to do -- do something right away," said Pujols, who boosted his major league-leading average to .370. "If you can score six runs right away, it's real big. The pitcher can relax. You always want to score right away."

    Pirates starter Josh Fogg (6-7), who has struggled since the All-Star break, left without retiring any of the six batters he faced. He gave up five hits -- three for extra bases -- and walked one.

    Martinez drove in four runs for the Cardinals, whose two homers gave them nine in three games -- all victories. St. Louis has won four straight overall and seven of its last nine road games to close within one game of NL Central-leading Houston, which lost 3-0 to the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday.

    Fogg called it the worst start he's ever made. But Martinez wasn't sure, even after Pujols' homer.

    "With Albert, it's hard to judge -- he hits pitchers with good stuff, so you have no idea," said Martinez, who hadn't homered since July 4. "I always thought he (Fogg) had good stuff. It's fortunate we jumped on him early."

    The Pirates hit a season-high four homers off Cardinals starter Brett Tomko (9-7), but all were solo shots. Tike Redman and Brian Giles homered in a first inning that featured four homers, two by each team. Reggie Sanders and Matt Stairs homered in succession to start the sixth.

    Tomko has allowed the most hits (198) and runs (100) in the NL, yet is 7-2 since June 19 and has won four of five starts. Pitching despite neck stiffness that threatened to push back his start, Tomko lasted six innings, giving up eight hits.

    "I'm going to give up homers," Tomko said. "I was trying to stay with the game plan and be aggressive, but maybe I was trying to be too aggressive."

    Five relievers finished, including four in a ninth inning that manager Tony La Russa said was beginning to make him uncomfortable. Jason Simontacchi got the final out for his first save in 53 career appearances.

    The Cardinals, who had hit 10 consecutive solo homers since Bo Hart's grand slam Aug. 2 against the Mets, got a pair of three-run shots within a span of four batters in the first.

    Hart and Kerry Robinson singled ahead of Pujols, who hit his 33rd homer. Martinez's homer was his 11th and followed Jim Edmonds' double and Scott Rolen's walk. Fogg was then replaced by Pat Mahomes, who gave up Edgar Renteria's double before retiring the next three batters.

    Fogg has been roughed up for 23 earned runs and 35 hits in 21 1-3 innings while going 1-4 in his last six starts. He is 1-5 with a 10.31 ERA in seven career starts against St. Louis and is 0-2 with a 12.60 ERA in three starts this season.

    "It is becoming a concern," manager Lloyd McClendon said. "He's not a power pitcher and he needs command of his pitches to be successful. We need to find the problem and fix it and fix it soon."

    The Cardinals also scored three times in the fourth against Mahomes on Robinson's run-scoring single and sacrifice flies by Rolen and Martinez.

    Game notes

    Stairs had three hits for the Pirates, who left 22 runners on base in the first two games of the four-game series. ... Pujols' streak is the Cardinals' longest since Lou Brock's 26-game run in 1971. Rogers Hornsby holds the team record with a 33-game streak in 1922. ... Fogg was the first Pirates starter to be lifted without getting an out since Esteban Loaiza gave up four runs in the first against Florida on Aug. 6, 1997. ... Robinson is 12-for-21 (.571) in his career at PNC Park. Pujols has 10 homers and 29 RBI in 22 career games in Pittsburgh. ... St. Louis is 4-1 in Pittsburgh this season. ... The Cardinals are seven games over .500 (63-56) for the first time since the final day of last season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press