ST. LOUIS (AP) - Daniel Hudson had a very good day at the plate. Perhaps too good.
The Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher had two hits, a sacrifice bunt and two RBIs against Chris Carpenter, helping to build a four-run cushion. But the 24-year-old Hudson was gone without getting an out in the sixth inning and the St. Louis Cardinals rallied against the bullpen for a 7-6 victory Saturday night.
Hudson thought being on the basepaths so much might have hurt him on the mound. Plus, Cardinals hitters worked him for 109 pitches.
``I guess I got a little bit tired, I don't know,' Hudson said. ``I don't know if that contributed to me having nothing out there in the sixth inning. It was a little humid, but their guys have to deal with it, too.'
It was the Cardinals' biggest comeback of the season and the Diamondbacks' biggest blown lead. No surprise that the 24-year-old right-hander was not impressed with his nine RBIs and 12 hits, both major league-leading totals, to go with a .333 average.
``I don't really go up there with any kind of plan or anything like that,' Hudson said. ``I just kind of swing hard in case you hit it. It would have been nice if we'd have gotten the win, but whatever.'
Hudson failed to retire any of the three batters he faced in the sixth and gave up three runs, two earned. Left fielder Willie Bloomquist robbed Lance Berkman with a leaping catch at the wall to save at least one run ending the fifth.
``I felt OK, didn't feel great obviously,' Hudson said. ``Give credit to their guys. Every guy it felt like I had two strikes and they fouled off maybe four pitches, and it drove my pitch count up a lot.'
Albert Pujols tied it in the eighth inning with his first home run since returning the disabled list and rookie pinch-hitter Tony Cruz hit a game-ending RBI double with one out in the ninth.
Pujols' 18th homer, and first in four games back from a broken left wrist, was a two-run shot off Yhency Brazoban that tied it at 6. Pujols was 3 for 4 with a walk and three RBIs, a breakout game after going 1 for 12 in his first three games back.
Pujols singled off a slider against Brazoban to start the seventh and homered off a fastball in the eighth.
``It's tough because the first time he smoked a slider,' Arizona catcher Miguel Montero said. ``So I'm thinking, 'Let me try to go fastball,' and he hit it even harder.
``He's a smart hitter, you can't repeat pitches to him. He's pretty special.'
Cruz's first hit in six pinch-hit at_bats came off Joe Paterson (0-3), who gave up two hits and a walk. It's the biggest comeback of the season for the Cardinals, who lost three of their first four with Pujols and dropped out of the NL Central lead. They won despite stranding 12 runners.
Arizona committed two fielding errors in the eighth, one of them allowing a run after center fielder Eric Young fumbled the ball after catching a flyout.
The Diamondbacks' bullpen was a ``little light' according to manager Kirk Gibson, and Brazoban allowed three runs in two innings.
``Everybody was available,' Gibson said. ``But you just can't keep throwing the same guys out there all the time.'
Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter had only one perfect inning, aided by a double-play ball in the first, and gave up four earned runs in six innings. He was not as sharp as in three previous starts, all victories while allowing only two runs in 24 innings.
Berkman singled to start the ninth and Yadier Molina walked with one out ahead of Cruz's winner. Fernando Salas (5-2) worked a scoreless ninth with one strikeout.
Hudson had a two-run single in a three-run second, Young had an RBI double in the third and Kelly Johnson's RBI double made it 5-1 in the sixth.
Ninth-place hitter Skip Schumaker had three hits, including RBI singles his last two trips, for St. Louis.
Notes: Carpenter needs one strikeout to tie Jesse Haines (979) for fifth on the franchise's career list. ... The Diamondbacks entered with an NL-leading 292 extra-base hits and had three doubles. ... Hudson has worked only nine innings combined in his last two starts. ... Sean Burroughs executed his first sacrifice bunt since May 15, 2005, against Florida. ... Ryan Roberts is 5 for 10 as a pinch hitter for Arizona and drove in his first run in that role in the seventh to make it 6-3.
The Associated Press News Service
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