Pujols homers and gets 3 hits to push Cards to beat Royals 6-5

ST. LOUIS – Albert Pujols called the shot.

The veteran batsman told Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol he was going to hit the first pitch he saw on Tuesday night to make a home run, and then he did.

Pujols homered for the first time since returning to St. Louis. Louis and Andrew Knizner threw a three-run shot when the Cardinals defeated the Kansas City Royals 6-5 on Tuesday night.

“When you have 680 you can make those kind of calls,” Pujols said. “I had a good feeling. Sometimes you’re lucky and it happens.”

Nolan Arenado also went deep for St. Louis, who has won 20 of the 27 interleague matches against the State Royals since August 7, 2017.

Salvador Perez hit two homers and Michael A. Taylor also connected for Kansas City, which allowed 33 runs in losing his last three games.

The 42-year-old Pujols, who also made two singles in a 3-of-4 performance, signed with St. Louis. Louis on March 28 for his final season. He played for the Cardinals from 2001 to 2011, helping them win two World Series.


In the first inning, Pujols hit the first shot he saw of Daniel Lynch on the wall in the left field, much to the delight of the audience, who chanted his name before he left the dugout for a backdrop call.

In addition to his 680 home runs, Pujols has 3,304 hits over 21 years.

“He’s the machine for a reason,” Knizner said. “I can’t say enough about how he played tonight. That was a great display of hitting, squaring the ball across the field. It was awesome to watch.”

Marble was impressed that Pujols was able to support his batting practice.

“I’ve never been told that before,” Marble said. “I created it.”

Pujols ’momentum came on the next pitch after Arenado scored a two-run shot. Arenado has three homers and nine tackles this season.

Knizner, making his first start of the year, kicked off a long run right inside the left field foul post in the fourth to put the Cardinals ahead to stay, 6-3.


“I think it was a slider,” Knizner said. “I just left that high and I did a good swing. I stayed a little. That happens sometimes when you hit home runs. Right tunnel and you’re just trained to swing.”

Jordan Hicks (1-0) got the win with two hits without a hit. The head of St. Louis Dakota Hudson has allowed three runs and five hits in four innings in his second outing since undergoing Tommy John surgery in September 2020.

Giovanny Gallegos got his first save of the season.

Lynch (0-1) allowed six runs and nine hits in five innings. He jumped to seven and walked to one.

Perez hit solo shots in the second and eighth for his thirteenth home run in his career.

“It feels great, but the most important thing is to win the game,” Perez said. “If I hit a home run and we lose, I feel a little awful for the team.”

The Marble returned to the bench after missing the previous two games due to the flu.


The Cardinals scored in the first in four games this season for the first time since 1901.


Kansas City OF Whit Merrifield played its 474th consecutive game, the longest since Prince Fielder played 547 consecutive games with Milwaukee, Detroit and Texas from September 14, 2010 to May 16, 2014.


The Royals will play their first 13 games in Missouri, the longest career at home since the San Francisco Giants played their first 17 games in California in 2019.


Kansas City coach Mike Matheny has returned to St. Louis. Louis, where he led the Cardinals from 2012 to 2018. He guided them to the postseason in each of his first four seasons, becoming the first coach to accomplish that feat.


Kansas City RHP Zack Greinke (0-0, 1.59 ERA) will face RHP Adam Wainwright (1-0, 0.00) in the two-game series final on Wednesday afternoon. Greinke is 13-6 with a 3.85 ERA in his career against St. Louis. Louis. Wainwright threw six innings in a 9-0 win over Pittsburgh on the opening day. The two added 404 victories, with Greinke recording 219.



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Pujols homers and gets 3 hits to push Cards to beat Royals 6-5

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