Pujols homers, but Cards lose

The Associated Press

DETROIT – Brandon Inge and Curtis Granderson homered to help the Detroit Tigers beat the St. Louis Cardinals 10-6 on Friday night.

Albert Pujols went 4-for-4 with his 26th homer and a walk in his second game since coming off the disabled list. He had been sidelined since June 3 with a strained oblique muscle.

The Tigers lost catcher Ivan Rodriguez to a wrist injury after he was hit with a foul tip. X-rays were negative and his status is day-to-day.

Rookie Justin Verlander (9-4) picked up the win, allowing four runs and seven hits in six innings. He struck out five, but couldn’t get past six innings for the fifth straight start.

Fernando Rodney pitched two innings. Todd Jones gave up Pujols’ homer in the ninth.

Chris Carpenter (6-4) lost for just the second time in seven starts, allowing a season-high seven runs and nine hits in seven innings.

The Tigers broke open a 3-3 tie with four runs in the fifth inning. Craig Monroe led off with a double and scored on Granderson’s one-out double. Placido Polanco followed with an RBI single, and took third on Vance Wilson’s double before Magglio Ordonez made it 7-3 with a two-run single.

The Cardinals pulled within 7-4 in the sixth on Yadier Molina’s second RBI double of the game. Molina, who added a run-scoring single in the eighth, finished with three hits and three RBIs.

Detroit scored three in the eighth to make it 10-5 on RBI singles by Marcus Thames and Inge and a sacrifice fly by Monroe.

The Tigers took a 3-0 lead on Granderson’s solo homer in the first and a two-run shot by Inge in the second, but the Cardinals tied the game with three runs in the fourth.

Scott Rolen’s double scored Pujols with the first run of the inning, former Tiger Juan Encarnacion added a sacrifice fly and Molina had his first run-scoring double.

Notes: Pujols’ strained oblique muscle appeared to pass a severe test in the first inning when he stretched to make a leaping catch at first base. … Carpenter started last year’s All-Star game at Comerica Park. … The game was delayed for a few moments in the fourth inning while a squirrel ran around in the outfield. At the end of the inning, the grounds crew chased the squirrel through the outfield fence and into the Tigers bullpen. … Tigers manager Jim Leyland dismissed recent rumors that the Tigers might trade hard-throwing rookie reliever Joel Zumaya. “We will not trade him. Period,” he said. … Encarnacion singled in the eighth inning to extend his hitting streak to 14 games.