CINCINNATI -- Seeing Albert Pujols on the ground in pain dampened the St. Louis Cardinals' spirits after their third win in a row.
The Cardinals watched their leading hitter be helped off the field with what was diagnosed as a strained left calf in the seventh inning of their 7-2 victory Tuesday night over the Cincinnati Reds.
"It's pretty hard to enjoy the win when something like this happens, but you've got to deal with it," Cardinals Manager Tony LaRussa said.
The six-time All-Star and 2005 National League most valuable player was carted out of the clubhouse and was being flown back to St. Louis for more tests, General Manager John Mozeliak said.
"Based on what I saw -- and I'm not a doctor -- it was pretty bad," Mozeliak said.
Ryan Ludwick homered and drove in four runs to lead the Cardinals' 11-hit effort.
Pujols and Rick Ankiel gave the Cardinals their first set of consecutive home runs this season before Pujols was helped off the field with the injury he suffered while running out a ground ball. Mitchell Boggs (1-0) gave up four hits and two runs with three walks over five innings.