ST. LOUIS – Albert Pujols sprained his left wrist trying to make a tag at first base, but the St. Louis Cardinals recovered to beat the Kansas City Royals 5-4 Sunday on Skip Schumaker's ninth-inning homer.
Pujols was injured in the sixth and the three-time NL MVP left the game. He will be evaluated further on Monday, an off day for St. Louis.
Wilson Betemit hit a chopper up the middle off Cardinals starter Jamie Garcia. Second baseman Pete Kozma backhanded the ball and made a jump-throw to first, pulling Pujols off the bag. As the slugger tried for a tag, Betemit ran into his glove hand and Pujols went down to the ground in pain.
Pujols, hitting .279 this year, was 3 for 3 with his 17th home run. The fifth-inning shot gave St. Louis a 3-2 lead.
Lance Berkman, who had been given a rest Sunday, replaced Pujols at first.
Leading off the ninth, Alcides Escobar hit his first home run on a 3-2 pitch from St. Louis reliever Fernando Salas, who threw 10 pitches in the at-bat. It was Escobar's first homer in 325 at-bats and it tied the game at 4. It marked just the second blown save in 15 attempts for Salas (4-1).
After leadoff hitter Dan Descalso got thrown out trying to stretch a single, Schumaker connected off Tim Collins (3-4), the fifth Royals pitcher.
It was Schumaker's second game-ending homer, the first coming in 2008, and his first home run since April 13.
Schumaker got his first RBI as a pinch-hitter this year, driving in Andrew Brown in the sixth to put St. Louis ahead 4-3.
Cardinals reliever Miguel Batista pitched out of a jam in the seventh with two on and no outs. After getting a flyout, Batista got Jeff Francoeur to sharply line out to Schumaker at second and Melky Cabrera was doubled off first.
Royals rookie left-hander Danny Duffy left in the fourth inning with cramps in his left calf. He struck out nine in 3 2-3 innings. He threw 90 pitches. Duffy allowed six hits and a walk.
Kansas City took a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI double by Billy Butler, who was making his first start after pinch-hitting in the first two games of the series. Butler is the Royals' designated hitter.
The Cardinals struck for two in the first when Brown, making his second major league start, hit a bases-loaded single.
The Royals tied it in the second on Alex Gordon's two-out RBI single.
Kansas City tied it at 3 in the sixth when Escobar's squeeze bunt scored Betemit.
NOTES: A first-inning error by Descalso at 3B was the 47th error this season in 73 games for St. Louis. The Cardinals have made 10 errors in their last six games. ... The Royals concluded a 4-5 road trip. ... Garcia batted eighth, marking the fourth time a Cardinals pitcher hit eighth this season. Garcia has done so three times.