ST. LOUIS -- Albert Pujols didn't want to leave a young fan with a sour taste in his mouth on Sunday night, so he did the best he could -- and it seemed to help.
When Pujols hit a solo home run in the sixth inning on Sunday, the ball struck a school-aged boy in the stands in his chest. Television cameras caught the youngster crying in pain, and Pujols happened to see the shots when he came into the clubhouse between innings. So he sent the young man an autographed bat.
"I was watching my video, and I saw him crying," Pujols said. "I felt that that's not the way you want a kid to remember, getting hit by the ball. So I tried to send a bat over. It wasn't to try to get attention or anything. ... I think if it would have hit an adult, it wouldn't have hurt as much, but when you hurt a little boy like that, that's an experience you don't want that kid to have."
Stadium representatives did not catch the fan's name. But television shots later in the evening seemed to show that his spirits had brightened quite a bit after receiving the bat.