ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Albert Pujols homered for the sixth time in 11 games on a three-hit night and Jake Westbrook got his first win in three tries since joining the St. Louis Cardinals at the trade deadline, 6-3 over the Chicago Cubs on Friday night.
Yadier Molina, whose objection to getting his shin guards tapped by Brandon Phillips' bat sparked a fracas with the Reds earlier in the week, got a prolonged standing ovation before singling in the second inning. Molina added a pair of sacrifice flies.
The Cardinals won their fourth in a row without manager Tony La Russa, who served the first of a two-game suspension for his role in the Reds set-to. Colby Rasmus walked four times, two more than his previous high, and Matt Holliday doubled twice with an RBI.
The Cubs fizzled after putting Westbrook (1-0) on the ropes early with four straight one-out hits in the first, including Marlon Byrd's two-run single.
Rookie starter Thomas Diamond (0-3) was knocked out after four innings for Chicago, which has lost 14 of 16 and did not benefit from manager Lou Piniella's return from a four-game bereavement leave to tend to his ailing mother.
Derrek Lee, also back from a bereavement leave to tend to his ailing grandfather, homered off Fernando Salas in the eighth and also doubled in the first.
Pujols hit his 395th career homer, most ever by a player in his first 10 seasons and one behind Joe Carter for 50th on the career list, to straightaway center with two outs in the first. He added two singles, each time scoring, and is batting .442 the last 12 games.
Westbrook, acquired from the Padres for Ryan Ludwick at the trade deadline to provide rotation depth behind twin aces Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter, retired 17 of his final 20 batters. The right-hander has worked six innings in all three of his starts with the Cardinals and is 20-9 in August, his best month for wins.
Westbrook doubled leading off the fourth for his third career hit in 19 at-bats, and scored on Jon Jay's RBI single for a 4-2 lead. One of his other two hits came against Carpenter in 2006 when he was with the Indians.
Ryan Franklin worked the ninth for his 21st save in 23 chances.
NOTES: Paid attendance of 45,546 was the Cardinals' 19th sellout and their third-largest of the season. ... The Cubs played their first game in St. Louis. The last time the NL Central rivals met at Busch this late in the season was Aug. 13, 1999. ... The Cardinals have scored four or more runs every game in August, going 7-3. ... Cardinals SS Brendan Ryan made the play of the game, going deep in the hole to glove Blake DeWitt's grounder and then throwing from the grass in time to end the third. ... The Cubs are 12-26 in series openers. ... Westbrook had three strikeouts after totaling 16 his first two starts, which matched Sam Jones (1957) as the most for the franchise since 1920. ... Pujols has scored in 11 straight games, totaling 17 runs.
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