CINCINNATI — — Albert Pujols hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the 13th inning, Lars Nootbaar added a two-run homer and the St. Louis Cardinals twice used five-man infields to stop the Cincinnati Reds for a 5-3 lead. win Wednesday night.
In his last game in Cincinnati, Pujols went hitless in five at-bats to connect against Chase Anderson (0-2), driving in autorunner Paul Goldschmidt with one out. Nootbaar went deep two batters later.
“I know he enjoyed it,” St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol said of Pujols, who plans to retire after the season. “His last at-bat: he’s done a lot of damage in this ballpark. I loved it.”
The Cardinals, leaders of the NL Central, used an extra infielder for the first time in the 11th with Colin Moran on third and no outs. Moran held Jose Barrero’s groundout and Jake Fraley grounded out to shortstop Tommy Edman, who struck out Moran at the plate, a decision that survived a replay review.
The Cardinals went back to five infielders with one out in the 12th and Edman took out Austin Romine trying to score on Alejo Lopez’s groundout, helping Andre Pallante (6-4) to the win. Pallante worked the final three innings, allowing Fraley’s RBI single in the 13th.
“That was a cool situation,” Edman said. “It’s kind of a unique change. It was fun to see that it paid off. Pallante is a great ground shooter. He helped that both runners were a bit slow. I’m just trying to put myself in a position where they can get the tag.”
“You have to win in a lot of different ways,” Marmol said. “It felt like a National League game tonight. That was fun.”
Pujols stands at 694 home runs, two behind Alex Rodriguez for fourth all-time.
The Reds honored Pujols and Yadier Molina, who is also playing his final season, during a pregame ceremony. Joey Votto narrated a video highlight before he and Reds manager David Bell presented engraved bats to Pujols and Adam Wainwright, who represented Molina as the catcher warmed up starting pitcher Jose Quintana in the bullpen.
The Cardinals have won four of their last five games.
The Reds took a 2-0 lead in the third on back-to-back RBI singles by Jonathan India and Nick Senzel.
Nolan Arenado tied the game with a two-run homer off the left field foul pole in the fourth.
Reds left-hander Mike Minor was rejected in his attempt to win a third straight start for the first time since 2019 for Texas. Minor lasted 4 2/3 innings, allowing four hits and two runs with two walks and one strikeout. He also hit a batter.
Quintana also pitched 4 2/3 innings. The Reds matched him with seven hits and two runs with a walk and a strikeout.
Buck Farmer, the third of five Cincinnati relievers, entered with one out in the seventh to strike out Corey Dickerson and have Goldschmidt roll with runners on second and third.
“It was amazing,” said Bell. “The Cardinals are a great team, and I am very proud of how our team fought and did everything they could to win that game. I feel like our team deserved to win that game. Of course, the Cardinals did too. It was a tough match, but a great match to be a part of. It’s a reminder of what a great game it is.”
in a row
India extended their career-best hitting streak to 14 games (18-of-54), the Reds’ best this season and the longest active streak in the majors.
Cardinals: Minor hit Edman on the left elbow pad with two outs in the third inning.
Reds: First baseman Donovan Solano and second baseman Alejo Lopez survived a collision that sent them both to the ground while Lopez was catching Arenado’s fly ball to end the first inning.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
Cardinals: LHP Jordan Montgomery (7-3, 3.28 ERA), Friday’s scheduled starter against the Cubs, pitched a complete-game, one-hit shutout in his last start against Chicago on Aug. 22 at Wrigley Field.
Reds: RHP Luis Cessa (3-2, 5.36) is scheduled to make his fourth start since being moved from the bullpen when Cincinnati opens a series against Colorado on Friday.