ST. LOUIS — Albert Pujols hit a home run leading off the ninth inning, and John Mabry was 4-for-4 with four RBIs to lead the St. Louis Cardinals against the Montreal Expos 5-4 on Wednesday night.
Pujols hit his 31st home run of the season, a drive off Chad Cordero (3-2), that capped the Cardinals’ comeback from a 3-0 deficit.
Julian Tavarez (3-3) pitched a scoreless ninth for St. Louis, the NL Central leader, which has won seven of nine.
Alex Gonzalez, who had three hits, tied the game at 4 in eighth with a double off Steve Kline that scored Terrmel Sledge, who reached on a two-base throwing error by second baseman Tony Womack.
St. Louis made three errors in all. Mike Mathany’s bad throw in the eighth was his first in 252 games since Aug. 1, 2002, at Florida, a record streak for catchers.
Brian Schneider put Montreal ahead with an RBI double in the second, and Expos starter Livan Hernandez hit a two-run double in the fourth to make it 3-0 after Schneider lined a ball off Suppan’s shoulder for an infield single.
Suppan allowed three runs and eight hits in five innings, leaving when pitcher Woody Williams pinch hit for him leading off the bottom of the fifth and struck out. Hernandez gave up four runs, nine hits and four walks in 6 2/3 innings.
Mabry put St. Louis ahead with his two-run home run in the fifth and two-run double in the seventh off reliever Joe Horgan.