ST. LOUIS -- Albert Pujols is so good, even his outs can score multiple runs.
Pujols became the first player in the Majors this year to drive in two runs with a single sacrifice fly in the first inning of the Cardinals' game against the Rockies on Sunday. The feat occurred twice last year, with the Twins' Joe Mauer and the White Sox's A.J. Pierzynski pulling it off. However, according to the Elias Sports Bureau by way of Cardinals media relations, no Cardinal has done it in a regular-season game since at least the 1960s.
Skip Schumaker led off the game for St. Louis with a single against Ubaldo Jimenez. Colby Rasmus followed with a double to right field, putting men on second and third base for Pujols. The reigning National League Most Valuable Player got ahead of Jimenez in the count, 2-0, then fouled off two pitches. Jimenez's 2-2 offering was a curveball that stayed well up in the strike zone, and Pujols drilled it deep to left center.
The runners tagged, and left fielder Carlos Gonzalez tracked the ball down and made a tumbling catch. Schumaker scored easily, and with the speedy Rasmus on second, third base coach Jose Oquendo took the chance and waved the rookie around too. Rasmus scored, making it 2-0, Cardinals.
It was, however, the last time St. Louis would score in the game. Jimenez sent the next 17 men down in order as the Cardinals fell to a 7-2 defeat. The Redbirds have lost three in a row and nine out of 14. So while it was an oddly successful play for St. Louis, it was also a pivotal moment for visiting Colorado.
"That was an unbelievable play," Jimenez said. "I didn't realize he had a chance to make a play. I was like, 'Oh, that's going to hit the wall.' That was an unbelievable play. He changed the momentum for us."
While Elias' research didn't reveal any regular-season two-run sac flies by the Cardinals in the last 40 years, they did have one in the postseason. In Game 4 of the 1982 World Series, Tom Herr drove in two runs with a sacrifice fly. In that case, the scoring speedsters were Willie McGee and Ozzie Smith.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.