Pujols' 2 HRs can't save Cards as Big Unit wins 3rd straight decision

ST. LOUIS -- Albert Pujols has more home runs than strikeouts against Randy Johnson after going deep two more times off the big left-hander.

So what if the St. Louis Cardinals' star is 11 for 24 with five homers, 14 RBIs and four strikeouts against the Big Unit? Johnson did enough against everybody else to earn his third straight decision and 303rd of his career in the San Francisco Giants' 6-3 victory on Tuesday night.

"He's doing what he does and we won the game, that's the bottom line," Johnson said. "My individual battles are obviously there, but I'm facing eight or nine hitters and if one guy has his day against me but we win, I feel like I did my job."

The Cardinals couldn't overcome Chris Carpenter's shakiest outing since 2006, which left them trailing 6-1 after five innings. St. Louis has lost three straight since acquiring Mark DeRosa, who is a quiet 0 for 9 thus far, and has dropped six of seven overall.

DeRosa was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the sixth after injuring his left wrist on a swing, and will have X-rays taken Wednesday.

The 45-year-old Johnson (8-5) allowed three runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings and evened his record at 7-7 against the Cardinals with his first victory over St. Louis since June 11, 2005, leaving him with a losing mark against only three teams -- the Mets (6-7), the Yankees (6-8) and the Rays (3-5). All the hits he allowed were for extra bases with Ryan Ludwick adding a double and triple.

"It has not been a lot of great history," Johnson said. "I've pitched a lot of bad games against them. I don't think I got hit too hard other than Albert's home run balls."

Pujols leads the major leagues with 30 homers and 77 RBIs after his third multihomer game in the last 10 games, his seventh this season and the 30th of his career. His 35 RBIs in June is a career best for any month and his 14 homers in the month matched his career best in April 2006.

"It's a great accomplishment," Pujols said. "But my job is to go out there and do everything I can to help my team win every night and obviously it hasn't happened the last couple of games."

Pujols' three-month total is the Cardinals' best since Mark McGwire had 37 homers and 87 RBIs at the end of June 1998 during his then-record setting 70-homer season. The last player in the majors to hit 30 before the All-Star break was the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez in 2007.

Carpenter (5-3) lasted five innings and allowed six runs and 11 hits -- one off his career high. He hadn't allowed more than three runs in any of his first 10 starts before getting knocked around by the Giants, resulting in a 64-point ERA hike to 2.42.

It was his worst effort since he gave up six runs on 12 hits on Sept. 26, 2006 against the Padres, also landing him with consecutive losses for only the third time with the Cardinals.

"I'm not a guy to make excuses," Carpenter said. "I felt like there were a few balls hit hard but not many other ones.

"When you're facing a club that likes to swing the bat and you get balls up a little bit, those balls fall in."

The Giants didn't hit Carpenter hard in the first, but managed four singles for a 2-0 lead including RBIs by Bengie Molina and Edgar Renteria. They hit him harder in a four-run, five-hit fifth, opening with three straight hits by Aaron Rowand, Randy Winn and Pablo Sandoval and capped by Travis Ishikawa's RBI double for a 6-1 lead.

Pujols' first homer came in the fourth, a drive estimated at 445 feet to left on an 0-2 count. He homered again in the sixth after pinch-hitter Chris Duncan walked with one out and the Cardinals chased Johnson two hitters later but missed a chance for more on Tyler Greene's double play ball against Jeremy Affeldt.

The Cardinals stranded two more in the eighth when pinch-hitter Skip Schumaker grounded out against Brian Wilson for the third out. Wilson finished for his 21st save in 25 chances. Five of Wilson's saves have required more than an inning.

Game notes
The Cardinals' 10-0 loss Monday to the Giants and 11-0 to the Mets on June 24 were the franchise's first double-digit shutout losses in less than a week according to the Elias Sports Bureau. ... Cardinals rookie OF Colby Rasmus, diagnosed with a hiatal hernia and out of the lineup the previous two games, was 2 for 3 after pinch-hitting in the fifth. ... Affeldt allowed a hit in two innings and has worked a career-best 18 consecutive scoreless innings over 19 appearances.