Pujols Hits 21st Home Run of Season As Cardinals Top Mets 6-2

Jake Westbrook allowed two runs over eight innings and Albert Pujols hit a two-run home run to lead the St. Louis Cardinals past the New York Mets 6-2 today.

The game at New York’s Citi Field took 2 hours, 7 minutes, the fastest of the year for the Mets.

Westbrook allowed four hits for his eighth win of the Major League Baseball season. Pujols, a three-time National League Most Valuable Player who was hitless in his first 10 at-bats of the series, hit his 21st home run of the year in the first inning off of starter Jonathon Niese.

The Mets scored in the fourth and eighth innings, with Justin Turner and Jason Pridie driving in the runs. The Cardinals opened a four-run lead in the fifth following errors by first baseman Lucas Duda and center fielder Angel Pagan.

Jose Reyes of the Mets hit his major-league-leading 16th triple of the season in the fourth inning. Reyes struck out in the ninth inning for the first time in 88 plate appearances, the longest such streak for a Mets player since Bob Bailor’s 94 in 1982.

The Mets, who won the first two games of the series, are 49-49 and in third place in the NL East. The team travels to Miami for a three-game series with the last-place Florida Marlins starting tomorrow. St. Louis is 51-47, 1 1/2 games behind first-place Milwaukee in the NL Central.