ST. LOUIS – Albert Pujols hit his second grand slam of the season and surpassed 1,000 career RBIs, sending St. Louis to an 8-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday and giving the surging Cardinals their ninth straight home win.

The Cardinals have won 10 of their 12 home games this season and are 13-5 overall, good for first place in the NL Central.

Pujols drove the first pitch from David Patton in the seventh inning an estimated 441 feet to left. It was the eighth career grand slam for Pujols, who is hitting .348 with 25 RBIs and seven homers already this season.

The four RBIs gave Pujols 1,002 in his career, making him the sixth Cardinals player to reach that milestone. The others are Stan Musial, Enos Slaughter, Jim Bottomley, Rogers Hornsby and Kenny Boyer.

Mitchell Boggs (1-0) allowed an unearned run and six hits in 5 2-3 innings for St. Louis.

Braves 10, Reds 2

CINCINNATI – Yunel Escobar drove in a career-high four runs and finished a triple short of the cycle, leading Atlanta to the victory.

Chipper Jones hit a three-run homer and also drove in four runs as the Braves jumped on Bronson Arroyo for six runs in the first two innings and handed the right-hander his first loss in four starts this season.

Arroyo (3-1) allowed nine runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings.

Mets 8, Nationals 2

NEW YORK – Mike Pelfrey gave the Mets a healthy and effective start, Ryan Church drove in three runs and New York took advantage of sloppy play by the stumbling Nationals.

Still struggling to get the big hit, New York scored four unearned runs off Daniel Cabrera to build an early cushion for Pelfrey.

Athletics 5, Rays 2

OAKLAND, Calif. – Jason Giambi hit the first homer of his second stint with Oakland, Nomar Garciaparra hit a three-run double and the Athletics ended a five-game skid.

Rangers 6, Orioles 5

BALTIMORE – Ian Kinsler homered twice and Texas led off the first three innings with home runs against Mark Hendrickson.

Andruw Jones and Chris Davis also connected against Hendrickson (1-3), who lasted only 4 1-3 innings. The Rangers, who have won four of six, lead the majors with 35 homers and have hit two or more 13 times this season.

Twins 7, Indians 1

CLEVELAND – Kevin Slowey pitched eight sharp innings and Jason Kubel hit two solo homers for Minnesota.

White Sox 10, Blue Jays 2

CHICAGO – Alexei Ramirez hit his fifth grand slam and drove in a career-high five RBIs, and Jermaine Dye added a two-run homer for Chicago.

Tigers 9, Royals 1

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Gerald Laird and Curtis Granderson hit two-run homers and Magglio Ordonez connected for a solo shot, leading Detroit to the victory.

Laird, who had three hits, went deep with Carlos Guillen aboard in the second. Granderson hit his sixth home run in the third after Adam Everett led off the inning with a single.

Ordonez’s homer in the ninth was his first extra-base hit after 17 singles, and he now has 14 home runs and 62 RBIs in 78 games at Kauffman Stadium.

Zach Miner (2-1) went five-plus innings for Detroit, allowing one run and three hits.

Kansas City’s Kyle Davies (1-1) gave up seven runs and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings.


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