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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Pujols breaks big home run game knot with McGwire

Albert Pujols and Mark McGwire (AP/Lenny Ignelzi)Albert Pujols had his fourth three-home run game on Sunday. Mark McGwire had just three as a St. Louis Cardinal.

When Albert Pujols slammed three home runs against the Chicago Cubs on Sunday at Wrigley Field, it became the first baseman’s fourth such game in his nine-plus years as a major leaguer. In doing so, he broke a tie with his hitting coach, Mark McGwire, for the most three-home run games by a St. Louis Cardinal player since at least 1952.

Together, the two had seven of the 12 three or more home run games by a Cardinal during that time. Hall of Famer Stan Musial is next with two. Of course, any such list would be incomplete without noting “Hard Hittin’” Mark Whiten’s chart-topping four home run, 12 RBI performance in 1993.

St. Louis Cardinals, three or more home run games, 1952-current

Player Date Opp Rslt PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB
Mark Whiten 9/7/1993-2 CIN W 15-2 5 5 4 4 0 0 4 12 0 0

Albert Pujols 5/30/2010 CHC W 9-1 5 3 4 3 0 0 3 4 2 1
Albert Pujols 9/3/2006 PIT W 6-3 4 4 3 3 0 0 3 5 0 0
Albert Pujols 4/16/2006 CIN W 8-7 5 4 4 3 0 0 3 5 1 0
Albert Pujols 7/20/2004 CHC W 11-8 5 5 4 5 1 0 3 5 0 0
Mark McGwire 5/18/2000 PHI W 7-2 5 4 3 3 0 0 3 7 1 1
Mark McGwire 5/19/1998 PHI W 10-8 5 5 3 3 0 0 3 6 0 0
Mark McGwire 4/14/1998 ARI W 15-5 5 3 4 3 0 0 3 5 2 1
Reggie Smith 5/22/1976 PHI W 7-6 5 5 3 3 0 0 3 5 0 0
Stan Musial 7/8/1962 NYM W 15-1 5 4 3 3 0 0 3 4 1 0
Bill White 7/5/1961 LAD W 9-1 6 5 3 4 1 0 3 4 1 1
Stan Musial 5/2/1954-1 NYG W 10-6 5 4 3 4 0 0 3 6 1 0

In another oddity unearthed by researcher Tom Orf, Pujols joined McGwire (4/14/98) as one of just 35 major league baseball players and second Cardinal since 1952 to hit at least three home runs in a game without making an out.

Three or more home runs without making an out, game, MLB, 1952-current

Player Date Tm Opp Rslt PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB
Carlos Delgado 9/25/2003 TOR TBD W 10-8 4 4 4 4 0 0 4 6 0 0
Rocky Colavito 6/10/1959 CLE BAL W 11-8 5 4 5 4 0 0 4 6 1 0
Albert Pujols 5/30/2010 STL CHC W 9-1 5 3 4 3 0 0 3 4 2 1
Chris Young 9/6/2009 ARI COL L 5-13 5 3 3 3 0 0 3 3 2 0
Jose Reyes 8/15/2006 NYM PHI L 4-11 4 3 3 3 0 0 3 4 1 0
Aramis Ramirez 4/8/2001 PIT HOU W 9-3 4 3 3 3 0 0 3 6 1 0
Kevin Elster 4/11/2000 LAD SFG W 6-5 4 3 3 3 0 0 3 4 1 0
Mark McGwire 4/14/1998 STL ARI W 15-5 5 3 4 3 0 0 3 5 2 1
Jose Valentin 4/3/1998 MIL FLA W 7-1 4 3 3 3 0 0 3 5 1 0
Bobby Higginson 6/30/1997 DET NYM W 14-0 5 3 4 3 0 0 3 7 2 0
Benito Santiago 9/15/1996 PHI CHC W 6-1 4 3 3 3 0 0 3 6 1 0
Edgar Martinez 7/6/1996 SEA TEX W 9-5 5 3 3 3 0 0 3 3 2 0
Andres Galarraga 6/25/1995 COL SDP W 11-3 5 3 3 3 0 0 3 7 2 1
Albert Belle 9/6/1992 CLE SEA W 12-9 4 3 3 3 0 0 3 5 1 1
Bo Jackson 7/17/1990 KCR NYY W 10-7 3 3 3 3 0 0 3 7 0 0
Randy Milligan 6/9/1990 BAL NYY W 10-1 4 3 3 3 0 0 3 6 1 0
Cecil Fielder 6/6/1990 DET CLE W 6-4 4 3 3 3 0 0 3 5 1 0
Joe Carter 7/19/1989 CLE MIN W 10-1 5 3 3 3 0 0 3 6 1 0
Wally Joyner 10/3/1987 CAL CLE W 12-5 5 3 3 3 0 0 3 3 2 0
Gorman Thomas 4/11/1985 SEA OAK W 14-6 5 3 4 3 0 0 3 6 2 0
Ben Oglivie 6/20/1982 MIL DET W 7-5 4 3 3 3 0 0 3 5 1 1
Ben Oglivie 7/8/1979-1 MIL DET W 5-4 4 3 3 3 0 0 3 4 1 0
Dale Murphy 5/18/1979 ATL SFG W 6-4 4 3 3 3 0 0 3 5 1 0
Cliff Johnson 6/30/1977 NYY TOR W 11-5 5 3 3 3 0 0 3 4 1 0
Willie Horton 5/15/1977 TEX KCR W 7-3 4 3 3 3 0 0 3 5 0 0
Mike Lum 7/3/1970-1 ATL SDP W 8-1 4 3 3 3 0 0 3 5 1 0
Bobby Murcer 6/24/1970-2 NYY CLE W 5-4 4 3 3 3 0 0 3 4 1 0
Art Shamsky 8/12/1966 CIN PIT L 11-14 3 3 3 3 0 0 3 5 0 0
Steve Boros 8/6/1962 DET CLE L 5-6 4 3 3 3 0 0 3 3 1 0
Willie Kirkland 7/9/1961-2 CLE CHW L 8-9 5 3 3 3 0 0 3 4 1 0
Charlie Maxwell 5/3/1959-2 DET NYY W 9-2 4 3 3 3 0 0 3 6 1 0
Preston Ward 9/9/1958 KCA BAL W 9-6 4 3 3 3 0 0 3 3 1 1
Frank Thomas 8/16/1958 PIT CIN W 13-4 5 3 4 3 0 0 3 6 1 0
Ernie Banks 9/14/1957-2 CHC PIT W 7-3 4 3 4 3 0 0 3 3 1 0
Dusty Rhodes 7/28/1954 NYG STL W 10-0 4 3 4 3 0 0 3 4 1 1

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