CHICAGO (AP) - Albert Pujols hit his 32nd homer, Ryan Ludwick drove in four runs and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 8-3 on Friday in the opener of a 4-game series leading into the All-Star break.
Pujols and Ludwick reached base four times apiece. Pujols added two RBIs to reach 85 and also hit his first triple of the season.
Chris Carpenter (7-3) worked six innings, allowing seven hits and three runs with six strikeouts. The Cardinals' ace improved his career record against the Cubs to 9-3, including 6-2 at Wrigley Field.
The victory put the first-place Cardinals eight games over .500 and knocked the struggling Cubs 4 1/2 games out of the lead in the NL Central.