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Pujols' drive gives Cardinals lead for good

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- For the second straight game, Albert Pujols
upstaged Ken Griffey's quest for 500 homers.

Pujols' go-ahead, three-run homer in the seventh inning led the
St. Louis Cardinals to a 9-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on
Saturday night, their sixth straight win. Pujols hit the
game-winning homer leading off the 10th Friday.

"You can't miss a mistake and that's what happened," Pujols
said. "He made a mistake and I put a good swing on it."

Griffey remained stuck on 499 homers for the fifth straight
game, although he contributed to the offense with two singles, an
RBI and a walk. He was 2-for-3 Saturday and is 5-for-20 with three
RBI since his last homer on Sunday at Cleveland.

"He's still driving in runs, and that home run is going to
come," teammate Sean Casey said. "We need him to keep hitting and
doing well and not really think about that home run and just keep
playing the way he's playing."

In both games in St. Louis, flashbulbs have popped throughout
Griffey's at-bats, a fan trait reminiscent of Mark McGwire's
70-homer season in 1998. He walked on a full count in the first,
hit an RBI single in the third for the game's first run, was held
to a single in the fifth when right fielder John Mabry cut off his
drive to the gap and grounded out to second in the eighth.

Griffey is 13-for-29 (.448) against Woody Williams with five
homers, although he didn't come close to a longball on Saturday.

"I was able to make my pitches and if I didn't, I didn't,"
Willaims said. "He's a good mistake hitter, there's no doubt about
it, and he's one of the best hitters that the game has ever seen.

"He's had good success against me but they've been bad
pitches."

Griffey's second shot at 500 in St. Louis drew a sellout crowd
of 48,641, but that likely was due to Camera Day. Friday's game,
featuring no giveaways or special promotions, drew a crowd of
37,946.

Williams threw seven strong innings and Jim Edmonds was 3-for-4
with a homer for the Cardinals, who have won 15 of 19. Edmonds is
8-for-12 with two homers for his career against Jose Acevedo (3-6).

Jason La Rue homered in the sixth to give the Reds a 2-0 lead.
Edmonds countered with his 15th homer leading off the bottom of the
sixth.

Tony Womack and Ray Lankford hit consecutive one-out singles in
the seventh off Acevedo, and Pujols lined his 19th homer -- one more
than Griffey -- over the left-field wall on the first pitch.

Pujols is starting to feel comfortable at the plate again after
missing four games last week with a hamstring injury and then
serving as the DH in an interleague series in Texas.

"I started feeling real good right before I got injured,"
Pujols said. "But I'm starting to get back where I want to be, and
hopefully I just keep going."

Williams (5-6) has won four of his last five starts and is 3-0
against the Reds the last two seasons. He allowed two runs on four
hits in seven innings with five strikeouts and three walks, also
working around two wild pitches and a hit batter.

"That's the best I've ever seen him throw," Adam Dunn said
after going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. "He had everything."

Jason Isringhausen got the last four outs for his 15th save in
18 chances. In his first at-bat of the season he gave himself a
nice cushion with a two-run, bases-loaded single off Phil Norton in
the Cardinals' five-run eighth.

Scott Rolen added a bases-loaded triple with two outs in the
eighth on a drive to the left-field warning track that Dunn
appeared to have lost in the lights. Rolen leads the majors with 70
RBI.

Acevedo worked out of trouble before the seventh. In seven
innings he gave up four runs on 11 hits and is 0-4 against the
Cardinals for his career with a 9.88 ERA.

The Reds have lost nine in a row on the road, their worst skid
since they dropped 10 straight June 1-24, 1998.

Game notes
Edmonds has hit 81 homers at Busch Stadium, tied for third
on the career list with Ted Simmons. ... The Cardinals are a
season-best 14 games above .500 at 41-27. ... Womack was 2-for-4
and is 11-for-23 in his last five games. ... The Cardinals had 14
hits, their sixth straight game in double figures. ... Isringhausen
was 1-for-2 last year with a three-run triple and is a career .210
hitter.