CINCINNATI — Albert Pujols hit his club-record fourth grand slam of the season, and Jarrett Hoffpauir drove in the go-ahead runs in the ninth inning with his first career hit as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-4 on Friday night.
Hoffpauir, playing his first major-league game after being called up Wednesday from Triple-A Memphis, capitalized on shortstop Paul Janish's two-out error with a bases-loaded single off Daniel Ray Herrera (1-4) to snap a 4-4 tie.
The win gave the Cardinals sole possession of first place in the NL Central, a game ahead of Milwaukee.
Pujols gave the Cardinals a 4-3 lead in the eighth with his 10th career slam, also a team record, but the Reds tied it on Ramon Hernandez's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning.
Pujols, who leads the majors with 31 home runs and 82 RBI, added an RBI double in the ninth.
Jason Motte (3-2) got two outs in the eighth for the win. Ryan Franklin allowed a hit and a two walks in the ninth before striking out Brandon Phillips for his 20th save in 21 opportunities.
The Cardinals were losing 3-0 and had the bases loaded with one out when right-hander David Weathers was brought in to face Pujols, who took a strike and two balls and popped one foul that fell just out of the reach of first baseman Joey Votto.
Pujols hit the next pitch into the left-center field seats, snapping ties with Hall of Famer Stan Musial for the Cardinals single-season and career records.
Reds relievers hadn't allowed a run in 162⁄3 innings over five games before Pujols' homer.
The home run wasted a solid pitching effort by Homer Bailey, who allowed three hits and two runs in a career-high 71⁄3 innings. Bailey also had five strikeouts while issuing just two walks after allowing a career-high seven last Saturday at Cleveland.
Joel Pineiro, who went 1-4 in June while the Cardinals scored a total of 11 runs in his five starts, allowed eight hits and three runs with one strikeout in seven innings. He didn't walk a batter.
Reds activate Encarnación
The Reds activated third baseman Edwin Encarnación from the 60-day disabled list Friday to replace Danny Richar, who went on the 15-day disabled list with a torn labrum in his left shoulder.
Wilkin Castillo, who had surgery Wednesday to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, was moved from the 15-day DL to the 60-day to make room for Encarnación on the 40-man roster.
Encarnación had been on the DL since April 28 with a chip fracture in his left wrist. He didn't start, but entered in a double switch in the ninth and doubled.