Albert Pujols did not have an impact in his first ever meeting against his former St. Louis club, but with the way the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are playing as of late, it hardly mattered.
The Angels try to match their longest winning streak of the season on Wednesday as they resume a three-game series versus the Cardinals.
After spending his first 11 seasons with St. Louis, helping the franchise win a pair of World Series championships, Pujols signed as a free agent with the Angels ahead of the 2012 campaign. Tuesday marked the first time he faced the Cardinals since inking his 10-year, $240 million deal with the Angels.
Pujols went 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts, but Howie Kendrick had three hits and Jered Weaver hurled seven innings of one-run ball in a 5-1 victory.
"It was a little weird, but it would have been a little different if this game was in St. Louis," Pujols said. "(Cardinals catcher) Yadier (Molina) was messing with me. He's like my little brother. Obviously, they pitched me well today."
Pujols is hitting .247 on the season and is mired in a 2-for-25 slump, but that has not mirrored the Angels' play as of late. Los Angeles has won seven in a row, its longest string of victories since claiming a season-high eight straight from May 18-26.
Weaver allowed six hits while fanning five to snap a five-start winless stretch and get his first victory since May 29.
"Going up against a tough lineup, execution was key," Weaver said. "I tried to keep those guys off-balance and I had good defense behind me."
Lance Lynn was charged with five runs and nine hits over six innings of work as the Cardinals lost for the seventh time in nine games.
"After the second inning, Lance made adjustments, but five runs is a long way to come back, especially against a guy like Weaver," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.
Molina, Allen Craig and David Freese all had two hits, but the lineup was without Matt Holliday after he was scratched due to a stiff neck and back.
It has also been a struggle as of late for young Cardinals hurler Shelby Miller, who has lost three of his past four starts and hopes to rebound tonight.
Miller has given up 13 runs over his last four starts, with his earned run average jumping from 1.91 to 2.79. The 22-year-old righty dropped his second outing in a row on Friday as he yielded five runs on six hits and two walks over a career-low 1 2/3 innings at Oakland.
"Tonight was really disappointing. I struggled. I just didn't have it today," said Miller, who fell to 8-6 on the year and faces the Angels for the first time.
The Angels counter with Jerome Williams, who is 5-3 with a 3.21 ERA in 20 appearances this season, including nine starts.
Williams will make a second straight start tonight after not factoring into Friday's 4-2 victory in Houston. He gave up a run on five hits and three walks over 6 1/3 innings.
The 31-year-old righty is 3-3 lifetime versus the Cards with a 4.46 ERA in eight meetings (7 starts).
The all-time series between these clubs is tied at 5-5 and the Cardinals are making their first ever trip to Anaheim.