Series: Game 2 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 9/10)

Game 1: Tuesday, September 9
St. Louis1
Game 2: Wednesday, September 10
St. Louis10
Game 3: Thursday, September 11
St. Louis4

Rockies 2

(66-80, 21-53 away)

Cardinals 10

(76-70, 43-30 home)

    8:10 PM ET, September 10, 2003

    Busch Stadium I, St. Louis, Missouri 

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    COL 000110000 2 6 1
    STL 00250030 - 10 11 2

    W: B. Tomko (12-8)

    L: S. Elarton (3-4)

    Cards move within one of 2nd place Cubs

    ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Albert Pujols sent pitchers a message: Don't throw at me.

    Pujols, often the target of high-and-tight pitches this season, was hit on the wrist in the first inning, then responded with two long homers as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Colorado Rockies 10-2 Wednesday night.

    "That's what good hitters do -- you don't want to upset them," manager Tony La Russa said. "That ball up and in upset him. He got payback."

    The win gave La Russa his 2,000th victory as a manager and kept the Cardinals 2{ games behind the NL Central-leading Houston Astros and moved within 1{ of the Chicago Cubs.

    La Russa became the eighth manager in major league history to reach 2,000 wins. In his 25th season -- eighth with St. Louis, La Russa is 2,000-1,782.

    The 58-year-old La Russa won 522 games with the Chicago White Sox from 1979-86; 798 games with the Oakland A's from 1986-95; and 680 games with the Cardinals since the start of the 1996 season.

    Pujols hit his 40th and 41st homers. He went 2-for-4, raising his NL-best average to .367. His 41 homers were one better than San Francisco's Barry Bonds, who played later Wednesday. And his three RBI gave him 121, eight behind Colorado's Preston Wilson, who drove in a run.

    Brett Tomko (12-8) pitched a six-hitter and had two hits, raising his average to .291. He struck out eight and walked none in gaining his second complete game of the season and seventh of his career. He didn't allow a base runner until Garrett Atkins singled with one out in the fourth, and retired the last nine.

    Tomko threw 109 pitches -- 84 for strikes. He struck out eight and walked none.

    Tomko was 2-5 in mid-June. Since then, he's 10-3.

    "I still think about it -- if I had shown up the first two months what kind of season I might have had," Tomko said.

    He also appeared to benefit Wednesday from a change in his hand position during his windup, a change Tomko said he made out of fear he was tipping his pitches. Rather than starting with his hands by his belt, Tomko held his right hand inside his glove near his face.

    "Maybe it made my mechanics a little bit better," he said.

    J.D. Drew and Scott Rolen also homered for St. Louis, each hitting two-run shots.

    Pujols hit a two-run homer off Colorado starter Scott Elarton (3-4) as part of a five-run fourth. The inning also featured Drew's towering 471-foot homer, his 14th, into the upper deck in right field -- just the third ball hit into the upper deck at Busch Stadium this season.

    Pujols also homered well over the centerfield fence off reliever Adam Bernero in the seventh.

    Rolen hit his 27th homer to center in the third. He needs four RBI to reach 100 for the fourth time in his career.

    Charles Johnson hit his 18th homer off Tomko in the fifth. It was the 32nd homer allowed by Tomko this season, most in the league.

    Elarton, making his first major league start since being optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs on June 27, allowed seven runs -- five earned -- on seven hits. He walked one and struck out none.

    "He got two strikes a number of times but couldn't get it done," Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. "It's still an uphill battle for him."

    St. Louis second baseman Fernando Vina made two errors on one play in the fourth, allowing the Rockies to score.

    With one out and runners on first and third, Wilson hit a potential double-play chopper to Vina. Rather than flip to Edgar Renteria covering second, Vina tried to tag Todd Helton and missed, then threw wildly to first, as Atkins scored from third. Vina was credited with errors for both missing the tag and for the wild throw.

    Game notes

    Pujols leads the NL with 366 total bases. Pujols and Jim Edmonds, with 35 homers, are the first Cardinals duo ever to each top 35 home runs. ... Colorado's Larry Walker needs eight RBI to tie Dante Bichette at 826 for the all-time Rockies record. ... Edmonds, still bothered by a knee he bruised diving for a ball in Chicago on Sept. 2, is hitless in his last 13 at-bats. Colorado is 21-53 on the road, worst in the league. ... The Cardinals have lost the opening game in their last six series, but have won the second game in five of the six.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press