Cards claim sixth straight victory

? For the second straight game, Albert Pujols upstaged Ken Griffey’s quest for 500 homers.

Pujols’ three-run homer in the seventh inning led the St. Louis Cardinals to a 9-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday night, their sixth straight win. Pujols hit the game-winning homer leading off the 10th Friday.

Griffey remained stuck on 499 homers for the fifth straight game, although he contributed to the offense with two singles, an RBI and a walk. He was 2-for-3 Saturday and is 5-for-20 with three RBIs since his last homer Sunday at Cleveland.

During both games in St. Louis, flashbulbs have popped throughout Griffey’s at-bats, a fan trait reminiscent of Mark McGwire’s 70-homer season in 1998. He walked on a full count in the first, hit an RBI single in the third for the game’s first run, was held to a single in the fifth when right fielder John Mabry cut off his drive to the gap and grounded out to second in the eighth.

Griffey is 13-for-29 (.448) against Woody Williams with five homers, although he didn’t come close to a longball Saturday.

Griffey’s second shot at 500 in St. Louis drew a sellout crowd of 48,641, but that likely was due to Camera Day. Friday’s game, featuring no giveaways or special promotions, drew a crowd of 37,946.

Williams threw seven strong innings, and Jim Edmonds was 3-for-4 with a homer for the Cardinals, who have won 15 of 19. Edmonds is 8-for-12 with two homers for his career against Reds starter Jose Acevedo (3-6).

Jason La Rue homered in the sixth to give the Reds a 2-0 lead. Edmonds countered with his 15th homer leading off the bottom of the sixth.

Tony Womack and Ray Lankford hit consecutive one-out singles in the seventh off Acevedo, and Pujols lined his 19th homer — one more than Griffey — over the left-field wall on the first pitch.

Williams (5-6) has won four of his last five starts and is 3-0 against the Reds the last two seasons. He allowed two runs on four hits in seven innings with five strikeouts.