Albert Pujols's third homer yesterday at Wrigley Field brought the St. Louis Cardinals all the way back and sent the Chicago Cubs to a crushing defeat.
"It was the first time I've hit three home runs and it came at the right time," Pujols said after his shot in the ninth helped the Cardinals to an 11-8 comeback victory.
"It's one of those days you never forget."
Pujols went 5 for 5 with a double and five RBI, helping St. Louis rally from a six-run deficit in the teams' final meeting of the season.
A day after the teams nearly scuffled, there was more trouble. St. Louis starter Matt Morris threw a fastball behind Corey Patterson in the first inning, prompting a warning to both benches from plate umpire Tim Tschida.
Cubs reliever LaTroy Hawkins, who gave up Pujols's go-ahead homer, was ejected after he started yelling at Tschida as he walked toward the dugout in the middle of the ninth.
An angry Hawkins had to be restrained by Manager Dusty Baker and several Cubs coaches from going at Tschida before he was finally forced into the Chicago dugout.
Pujols hit a two-run drive off Hawkins (2-2), and Reggie Sanders added a solo shot in the three-run ninth as St. Louis roared back after trailing 7-1.
* DODGERS 7, ASTROS 5: Adrian Beltre hit his 25th homer and drove in three runs, leading visiting Los Angeles to its eighth straight win.
The Dodgers have won 14 of 15 and eight consecutive road games, something they haven't done since June 1982.
* MARLINS 9, METS 7: Miguel Cabrera homered and drove in three runs, and Florida won in New York despite blowing a six-run lead.
Mike Piazza sprained his left wrist when Juan Pierre ran into the Mets' first baseman's arm as he reached for a wide throw in the second inning. Piazza came out of the game, but X-rays did not reveal any breaks and he was to be re-evaluated today.
* PHILLIES 4, BRAVES 3: Bobby Abreu's RBI single in the 10th inning capped visiting Philadelphia's 30th come-from-behind win of the season, pulling the Phillies back into a first-place tie in the NL East. The Phillies rallied for two unearned runs in the eighth, ruining another strong outing by Atlanta starter Jaret Wright.
* PIRATES 2, EXPOS 1: Rookie Sean Burnett limited visiting Montreal to one run in seven innings to beat the Expos for the second straight time, and Rob Mackowiak hit a two-run homer.
* GIANTS 3, DIAMONDBACKS 1: In Phoenix, Jerome Williams outpitched Randy Johnson, allowing four hits over seven-plus to help send the Diamondbacks to their ninth straight loss.
Barry Bonds returned to the lineup after having a root canal on Monday and was 1 for 4 with a double and an RBI for the Giants, who won for the seventh time in nine games.
* REDS 6, BREWERS 2: Brandon Claussen pitched seven impressive innings in his long-awaited NL debut, and Jason Romano's first homer helped Cincinnati win at home.
* PADRES 9, ROCKIES 7: Ryan Klesko homered and drove in three runs, and Khalil Greene had a homer and two RBI for San Diego in Denver. San Diego had 16 hits, winning for the fifth time in six games, a night after pounding out a season-high 18 in a 13-6 win over the Rockies.