Albert Pujols didn't see anything different in his three-homer performance Sunday in comparison to the period in which he connected once in 28 games.


Albert Pujols didn't see anything different in his three-homer performance Sunday in comparison to the period in which he connected once in 28 games.

Pujols hit three long balls and Adam Wainwright pitched seven impressive innings, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 9-1 win over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.

Pujols homered in the first, fifth and ninth innings for his fourth career three-homer game, and first since Sept. 3, 2006, against the Pirates. He has hit four home runs in four games after the drought.

"This game is hard. This game is not easy. ... I think sometimes people take that for granted," Pujols said. "This is just another day. Tomorrow I want to contribute for my ballclub."

Pujols dismissed the idea that his recent struggles were related to injuries.

"I'm still in the lineup and playing everyday. I told you guys in spring training and early in the year that you never play this game 100 percent. Every day something bothers you," Pujols said. "I think sometimes people take that for granted. They think we're automatic, that we are supposed to hit a ball out every time. They think you can't struggle in this game."

Pujols had a season-high four RBIs and took over sole possession of second place on the Cardinals' RBI list with 1,150. Pujols only trails Stan Musial who had 1,951 RBIs for St. Louis.

"I've tried to explain his greatness to all our fans so that they never take him for granted," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "He is a great, great baseball player."

The Cardinals, who begin a three-game series against the NL Central-leading Reds on Monday, won their first series at Wrigley Field since taking two of three from the Cubs April 20-22, 2007.