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GAMES OF THE DAY

Three-Homer Days for Howard, Pujols

September 04, 2006|From the Associated Press

Ryan Howard and Albert Pujols had their home-run strokes down Sunday.

Howard homered in his first three at-bats for Philadelphia in an 8-7 victory over Atlanta in a doubleheader opener, and Pujols connected in his first three at-bats as St. Louis beat Pittsburgh, 6-3.

It was the first time two players homered three times on the same day since Pujols and Cleveland's Travis Hafner did it on July 20, 2004. It was also the first time a pair did it in the first three plate appearances since Cincinnati's Johnny Bench and Atlanta's Orlando Cepeda on July 26, 1970.

"I'm sure a day like today is going to be one of those days where I wake up and am like, 'Did that really happen?' " Howard said.

Howard leads the major leagues with 52 homers and 133 runs batted in. His 50th home run was a solo shot in the second inning, and he followed with a two-run drive in the third. His third homer was a solo shot in the sixth.

Howard, who was two for four in the second game, which the Phillies lost, 3-1, became the 23rd player to hit 50 homers. He broke the mark for second-year players, set when Ralph Kiner hit 51 for Pittsburgh in 1947.

Pujols connected with the bases empty in the first and hit two-run drives in the third and fifth. It was his third three-homer game, his second of the season, and with 42 homers he reached the 40-mark for the fourth consecutive season.

Pujols scored his 100th run on the third homer. He's the only player in major league history to hit 30 homers, score 100 runs and bat .300 in his first five seasons, and he is batting .321 this year.

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ROUNDUP

at San Diego 2, Cincinnati 1: David Wells pitched well in his return to his hometown and Josh Bard hit a bases-loaded single in the eighth to drive in the go-ahead run.

San Francisco 7, at Chicago 4: Barry Bonds homered for the second straight game, giving him 729 for his career. Bonds has five homers in his last 11 games.

Florida 10, at Milwaukee 3: Scott Olsen gave up one hit in seven innings and the Brewers' losing streak reached 10.

at Houston 2, New York 1: Roy Oswalt's perfect-game bid was broken up by Jose Reyes' infield hit for the Mets to lead off the seventh, and the Astros won despite getting one hit.

at Washington 5, Arizona 3: A four-run eighth inning led the Nationals to their fourth straight come-from-behind victory.

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