Albert Pujols hit his second homer of the game with two outs in the 12th inning to give the St. Louis Cardinals a 5-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday.
Pujols had his ninth game-ending homer of his career and first since Aug. 16, 2009, against the Padres on a 2-1 pitch from Jeff Samardzija (3-2) as the Cardinals prevailed in 95-degree heat. He has 41 career multihomer games, two of them this season, and has homered three times the last two games to emerge from a power funk.
St. Louis relievers retired 17 in a row to end it, with Eduardo Sanchez (2-1) striking out two in two perfect innings. The Cubs have lost eight of 10 and didn't get a hit after Carlos Pena's infield single with one out in the seventh.
This was only Pujols' second game with multiple extra-base hits of the season, and he drove in four runs. Pujols hit a two-run shot off Randy Wells in the fourth and his RBI double chased Wells in a two-run sixth that tied it.
Pena hit a two-run homer in the Cubs' four-run sixth against Kyle Lohse. Kosuke Fukudome had three hits, two of them doubles, with an RBI.
St. Louis had the bases loaded with one out in the ninth before the Cubs went to Carlos Marmol, who struck out Lance Berkman and got Tony Cruz on a flyout. Pujols, who led the National League with 38, 44 and 34 intentional walks the last three seasons, drew only his fourth this year in the ninth.
Marmol worked around a hit batsman and infield hit in the 11th and has thrown 25 1-3 consecutive scoreless innings on the road, a franchise best for Cubs relievers, according information provided by the Cubs from the Elias Sports Bureau.
Kyle Lohse gave up a season-high 11 hits and four runs, all in the sixth to match a season worst, and failed to last at least six innings for the first time in his 12 starts this season. He's 1-4 with a 6.51 ERA in 11 starts against the Cubs.
Pena's two-run homer was one of three extra-base hits in the sixth that erased a 2-0 deficit, with Tony Campana and Kosuke Fukudome also driving in a run apiece.
Pujols' RBI double cut the deficit to one and chased Wells. Berkman singled on an 0-2 count against Sean Marshall, who had held opponents to 3 for 21 with runners in scoring position, to tie it.
Like Lohse, Wells gave up four runs and lasted 5 2-3 innings, but the Cardinals needed only three hits. In two starts since coming off the 15-day disabled list from a forearm injury, Wells has allowed nine runs in 9 2-3 innings.
Wells had won his previous two starts against St. Louis, both last season, allowing one run in 15 innings.
Cardinals leadoff man Ryan Theriot singled in the sixth and walked and has hit in a career-high 18 games, also the longest active streak in the majors.