Albert Puholz hit his 703rd home run Monday night, breaking a tie with Babe Ruth for second in career RBIs, but St. Louis Cardinals lost Pittsburgh 3-2 when the Pirates rattled off four straight runs in the ninth inning to force the win.

The 42-year-old racer connected with his right hand Mitch Keller, blasting a two-run shot into the left-field stands to tie the game in the sixth inning. It was Pujols’ 35th career home run at PNC Park, the most in any away game.

The ride gave Pujols 2,216 RBIs, passing Ruth on the all-time list. Hank Aaron holds the record with 2,297.

Puhols, who plans to retire after the season, has 24 home runs this year, his most since hitting 31 for the Los Angeles Angels in 2016. He is one of four players in major league history with 700, joining Barry Bonds (762), Aaron (755) and Ruth (714).

Puhols is hitless in eight career appearances against Keller.

With the score tied in the ninth inning, the Pirates loaded the bases Ke’Brian Hayes, Miguel Andujar and Rodolfo Castro drew successive moves from Giovanni Gallegos (3-6).

Jojo Romero felt relieved and left Oneil Cruz to finish the game. It was the first appearance of the rookie’s career.

Before the game, the Cardinals signed Gallegos to a two-year, $11 million contract that runs through 2024.

Yohan Ramirez (4-1) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win.

The Pirates avoided a second straight 100-loss season — at least for now — by beating the NL Central champion Cardinals for the second straight day.

Paul Goldschmidt St. Louis went ahead in the sixth with one out before Puhols connected. Keller was chased after giving up two more singles in the inning.

The Pirates rallied to tie the score at 2. Brian Reynolds doubled home run in the sixth and Jack Suwinski hit Andre Pallante in the eighth.

Usually a starter, Cardinals, right-handed Miles Mikolas allowed one run in three innings of relief. He followed Jose Quintanawho started and pitched three scoreless innings.

St. Louis has used the starters in tandem as manager Oliver Marmol tries to adjust his pitching staff for postseason play. The Cardinals host a best-of-three wild-card series that begins Friday, and Marmol is undecided about his rotation.

“It gives us the flexibility to start them in any game of this three-game set,” he explained before the game.

Keller allowed two runs and six hits over five innings.


RHP Nick Mears was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis and RHP Luis Ortiz was optioned to the same club. Ortiz made his major league debut on Sept. 13 and went 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA in four starts.

Training room

Cardinals: 3B Nolan Arenado was pulled from the lineup 15 minutes before the game for what the team called “precautionary reasons.” … OF Tyler O’Neill (strained left hamstring) went through a full baseball workout, but the Cardinals still aren’t sure if he’ll be ready to play by Friday. … RHP Jordan Hicks will either be activated from the injured list and pitch in Wednesday’s regular-season finale or pitch the bullpen that day.


Cardinals: RHP Dakota Hudson (8-7, 4.07 ERA) will start Tuesday night. He allowed one unearned run in 11 innings over two appearances after being recalled from Triple-A Memphis on September 21st. RHP Jack Flaherty He is expected to pitch in relief as a postseason tune-up.

Pirates: No starter was announced, though RHP J.T. Brubaker (3-11, 4.58) can be activated from the injured list.

This is reported by the Associated Press.

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