N.L. CENTRAL St. Louis completes sweep of Pirates, 4-0
Pujols became the fourth player in history with 100 RBIs in his first four season.
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Albert Pujols turned down a day off and then joined some elite company.
Pujols hit his 40th home run and reached 100 RBIs for the fourth straight season, and the St. Louis Cardinals completed a three-game sweep of the Pirates with a 4-0 victory Sunday.
Pujols, who also hit his first triple of the season, became the fourth player to start his major league career with four straight seasons with at least 100 RBIs. He joined Hall of Famers Al Simmons, Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams as the only players to accomplish the feat.
"It's awesome," Pujols said. "It's tough to get 100 at this level, but I'm here to do the best I can to win. I don't care who they try to compare me to. I just want to be myself and try to get better every day. It's about winning. That's why I'm here. I want to be a winner and hopefully we'll get that opportunity this year."
Pujols was refreshed after being given Saturday off. It was just the sixth game he's missed.
"I felt like yesterday was a good time to do it," he said. "My body was telling me I was so tired."
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said he considered resting Pujols on Sunday, too.
"I told him no because I felt strong enough to go out and play," Pujols said. "We were facing a tough lefty and I needed to go out there and try to help us to win."
Jason Marquis (13-4) held the Pirates to four hits in 71/3 shutout innings to win his 10th straight decision. He hasn't lost since the Pirates beat him 11-8 on May 26. He walked four and hit a batter as the Cardinals won their seventh straight game against the Pirates.
"I was more than pleased," La Russa said. "It was a tough matchup against [Oliver] Perez, a hot day, the end of a road trip. It was an outstanding performance."
Marquis said the heat and humidity didn't bother him.
"I felt great," he said. "I'm feeling real good physically and my mechanics have been good. Things have been going pretty well and my team has a lot to do with that. We've been playing real good baseball. I'm just glad to be part of it."
Ray King got one out in the eighth, and Julian Tavarez got four outs for his fourth save in St. Louis' 10th shutout.