Albert Pujols drew so many cheers in his return to St. Louis, he even apologized to Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha.
Pujols was showered with ovations in his long-awaited return to Busch Stadium, but Marcell Ozuna spoiled the homecoming with a home run that helped the Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-1 on Friday night.
“They showed you why they are the best fans in baseball,” Pujols said.
Pujols spent the first 11 years of his All-Star career with the Cardinals, helped them win the 2011 World Series and then signed with the Angels as a free agent. Due to inconsistent interleague scheduling, this was the first time the Angels have visited St. Louis since Pujols left.
The slugger went 1-for-2 with a walk before being pulled for a pinch-runner.
Pujols received a standing ovation from the sellout crowd of 48,423 every time he stepped to the plate, including one in the first inning that lasted over a minute. He embraced Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina before batting, prompting the fans to get even louder.
Photo: Dilip Vishwanat / Getty Images
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“It’s pretty amazing. I’m just glad to be able to play here for 11 years and have the great memories. I was pretty close from having a couple of tears there I think, especially when I hugged Yadi and we had that little moment to ourselves.”
Dodgers 4, Rockies 2: Walker Buehler struck out a career-high 16 in his first complete game and host Los Angeles rallied on Matt Beaty’s two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to beat visiting Colorado.
Mariners 10, Orioles 9: Former Giants outfielder Mac Williamson homered and Mallex Smith scored four times to lead host Seattle.
Nationals 4, Braves 3: Dallas Keuchel labored through five innings in his Atlanta debut, coughing up a 3-0 lead as the visiting Braves lost. Keuchel signed a one-year, $13 million contract on July 7 with the NL East-leading Braves. It was the first major-league appearance for Keuchel since he started Game 3 of last year’s AL Championship Series for the Houston Astros.
Reds 11, Brewers 7: Jose Iglesias had four hits and drove in two runs and Cincinnati withstood another homer from major-league leader Christian Yelich, beating host Milwaukee to win its sixth straight.
Pirates 2, Padres 1: Joe Musgrove pitched five-hit, one-run ball through seven innings, and host Pittsburgh capitalized on two errors by San Diego’s Manny Machado.
Yankees 4, Astros 1: Gary Sanchez and Gleyber Torres each homered for the third game in a row, providing a pair of two-run shots that sent host New York past Houston for its seventh straight victory. Aaron Judge was hitless in his return to the lineup — batting leadoff.
Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 5: Christian Vázquez hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning to cap host Boston’s comeback from four runs down.
Marlins 2, Phillies 1: Sandy Alcantara pitched 7 ⅔ sharp innings, Bryan Holaday hit a solo homer and Miami dealt host Philadelphia its fifth straight loss.
Mets 5, Cubs 4: Jeff McNeil homered and drove in three runs in his first career start in right field as visiting New York beat Chicago.
Indians 7, Tigers 6: Jason Kipnis hit a tiebreaking triple in the eighth inning, right fielder Tyler Naquin made a game-saving play in the ninth, and host Cleveland held on.
White Sox 5, Rangers 4: Eloy Jimenez scored on a sacrifice squeeze bunt by Yolmer Sanchez in the 10th inning and visiting Chicago beat Texas.
Twins 8, Royals 7: Max Kepler’s RBI single drove in the tiebreaking run and Eddie Rosario added a run-scoring hit to cap visiting Minnesota’s three-run rally in the eighth and the Twins beat Kansas City.
Briefly: Rangers third baseman Asdrubal Cabrera received a four-game suspension for throwing equipment on the field after he was ejected Thursday. He has appealed the penalty. … Among the players placed on the injured list were Indians right-hander Mike Clevinger (sprained ankle) and Marlins catcher Jorge Alfaro (concussion).
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