ST. LOUIS (AP) — Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina set a major league record for wins by a starting battery as the St. Louis Cardinals routed the San Francisco Giants 15-6 on Sunday night in a game that ended with veteran slugger Albert Pujols on the mound.
Molina homered and drove in four runs, Wainwright threw six effective innings and St. Louis roughed up Carlos Rodón early. Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado each added a two-run homer for the Cardinals, who won two of three in the series after losing two of three to struggling Baltimore. Goldschmidt had three RBIs.
Pujols, the Cardinals’ designated hitter, came in to pitch for the first time in his 22-year career in the ninth inning. He gave up a three-run homer to Luis Gonzalez and a solo shot to Joey Bart, but managed to get the final three outs with plenty of room to spare.
Pujols, 42, became the oldest player to make his major league debut since Lena Blackburne started at 42 in her last major league game as a player/coach for the Chicago White Sox in 1929.
Wainwright and Molina broke the major league record with their 203rd victory as the starting battery. They passed Warren Spahn and Del Crandall, who amassed 202 wins for the Boston and Milwaukee Braves from 1949 to 1963.
The St. Louis duo started 311 games together, third all-time behind Spahn/Crandall (316) and Mickey Lolich/Bill Freehan (324) of the Detroit Tigers from 1963-75.
Joc Pederson homered two runs for San Francisco, which lost its second in a row after winning six in a row.
Molina capped a four-run outburst in the first inning against Rodón (4-2) with a two-run single. The 39-year-old receiver added a two-run homer to reliever Zack Littell in the fifth to make it 11-0.
Wainwright (4-3) allowed two runs and three hits. He struck out five and walked two. The 40-year-old right-hander struck out 14 of the first 15 batters he faced. Gonzalez got the Giants’ first hit with a two-out single in the fifth.
Rodón allowed eight runs and 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings. He pulled out three and walked one. He had allowed just seven earned runs in his previous six starts this season.
Each St. Louis starter had a hit in the sixth inning.
St. Louis rookie outfielder Juan Yepez scored a single in the first inning. He reached safely in each of his first 11 games, the longest streak by a Cardinals rookie since Luis Alicea reached 23 successive games to start his career in 1988.
The Cardinals went 0-4 in Sunday night games last year before winning on their first down this season.
Gonzalez came from the outfield to pitch in the seventh with the bases loaded and two out. He gave up a single to Dylan Carlson before taking off Harrison Bader.
San Francisco RHP Yunior Marte was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento and allowed two earned runs in 1 2/3 relief. INF Donovan Walton was sent to Sacramento. Walton was one-for-four at bat with the Giants.
Cardinals: RHP Alex Reyes was shut down after feeling more shoulder pain. Reyes, sidelined all season, felt more discomfort playing catch. He had an MRI last week and will remain inactive until the results are known. “I don’t know if it’s the same area,” manager Oliver Marmol said. “But it’s discomfort in the shoulder.”
Giants: LHP Alex Wood (3-2, 3.60 ERA) takes on Colorado RHP Antonio Senzatela (2-2, 4.88) in Game 1 of a three-game series in Denver on Monday. Wood didn’t allow an earned run in 5 1/3 innings in a 9-2 win over Colorado on Tuesday.
Cardinals: RHP Miles Mikolas (3-1, 1.49) takes on the Mets in Monday night’s opener of four in New York — weather permitting. Mikolas has allowed two or fewer runs in all seven starts this season. The Mets had yet to announce a starter.
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