NL MVP getting few pitches to hit

ST. LOUIS (AP) - When more than a day or two passes without a crucial hit by Albert Pujols, everyone wonders what's wrong with the reigning NL MVP.

The easy answer: The opposition has been able to pitch around the St. Louis Cardinals' star lately, with injuries to Ryan Ludwick and Rick Ankiel leaving Pujols with little protection. The Cardinals' weekend interleague series against the Royals was a case in point.

Pujols drew four intentional walks - 1 of them with two on and none out - and seven walks overall. During the three games, Pujols never had an at-bat with runners on base.

Pujols leads the major leagues with 12 intentional walks. On Monday he walked twice in a 1-0, 10-inning loss at Milwaukee, once intentionally with a man on second and two outs in the sixth.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.