Albert Pujols debuts as a pitcher on record night for the Cardinals

Albert Pujols had a lot of fun. And not in the batter’s box, precisely.

The veteran ballplayer made his first appearance as a pitcher last Sunday night, closing out a 15-6 victory for the St. Louis Cardinals over the San Francisco Giants, which gave Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina the record for most major league wins by a combination pitcher/receiver

Molina homered and drove in four runs, Wainwright pitched six effective innings and San Luis hit Carlos Rodon early on.

Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado they each added a two-run homer for the Cardinals, who took two of three in the series after losing two of three to struggling Baltimore. Goldschmidt had three RBIs.

Pujols, the designated hitter for the Cardinals, came in to pitch in the ninth inning for the first time in his 22-year career.

He gave up a three-run homer to Luis Gonzalez and a solo shot to Joey Bart, but managed to get the last three outs with plenty of wiggle room.

"A dream come true, say I did it (pitch in the major leagues)"said Pujols, fifth on the home run list with, 681. "It was fun. It wasn’t fun giving up two homers. I think the fans had fun. I’m sure the guys who ‘took me deep’ did too".

Pujols, 42, became the oldest player to make his pitching debut since Lena Blackburne did so at age 42 in her last game as player/manager for the Chicago White Sox in 1929.

With the Cardinals ahead by 13 and the outcome all but decided, Pujols overheard manager Oliver Mármol asking for someone to pitch the last inning so the team could avoid using another reliever.

"They were looking and I was like, ‘I’ll do it. Why not?",Pujols said.

He received a lot of ridicule from his teammates.

"Got to keep the ball down"Molina yelled in the locker room.

Pujols had an explanation.

"Thing is, I couldn’t even get there. Every time he tried to keep her down, he knocked her over."said.

LaMonte Wade Jr. paired with Pujols to finish.

Wainwright and Molina broke the major league record with their 203rd win as a starting drummer. They surpassed Warren Spahn and Del Crandall, who had 202 wins for the Boston and Milwaukee Braves from 1949-63.

"It is a great honor to be part of this record"Molina said.

The duo have started 311 games together for St. Louis.the third most of all time, behind Spahn/Crandall (316) and Mickey Lolich/Bill Freehan (324) of the Detroit Tigers from 1963 to 1975.

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Wainwright and Molina were doused in almond milk and soda by their teammates in the clubhouse.

"It’s a blessing that I get to do this with him for as long as we’ve done it"Wainwright said.

Joc Pederson hit a two-run homer for San Francisco, which lost its second in a row after winning six straight.

Molina capped a four-run first-inning explosion off Rodon (4-2) with a two-run single. The 39-year-old catcher added a two-run homer off reliever Zack Littell in the fifth to make it 0-11.

Wainwright (4-3) gave up two runs and three hits. He struck out five and walked two. The 40-year-old right-hander retired 14 of the first 15 batters he faced. González got the Giants’ first hit with a two-out single in the fifth.

Rodón allowed eight runs and 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings. He had given up only seven earned runs in his previous six starts this season.

Every St. Louis starter had a hit in the sixth inning. Pujols went 2-for-3 at the plate with a double. He scored twice and drove in one run.

St. Louis outfielder Juan Yepez singled in the first inning. He has arrived safely in each of his first 11 gamesthe longest streak by a Cardinals rookie since Luis Alicea reached 23 straight games to start his career in 1988.

The Cardinals were 0-4 in Sunday night games last year before winning at their first try this season.

González entered from the outfield to pitch in the seventh with the bases loaded and two out. He gave up a run-scoring single to Dylan Carlson before getting Harrison Bader to fly.

"It was a good time, a wild night"Gonzalez said. "That (home run) just capped off the night. Some pretty historical stuff happened to me in this game".

Then

Giants: Alex Wood (3-2, 3.60 ERA) will face Colorado and Antonio Senzatela (2-2, 4.88) in the opener of a three-game series at Coors Field on Monday. Wood didn’t allow an earned run in 5 1/3 innings of a 9-2 win against the Rockies on Tuesday.

Cardinals: Miles Mikolas (3-1, 1.49 ERA) faces the Mets in the opener of a four-game series Monday night in New York — though a storm is in the forecast. Mikolas has allowed two runs or fewer in seven starts this season. The Mets have yet to announce a starter.

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