Pujols Powers Way To 2nd NL MVP Award

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NEW YORK (AP) - St. Louis Slugger Albert Pujols is the 2008 National League MVP.

He was named first on 18 of the 32 ballots cast by the Baseball Writers' Association of America and had 369 points. The Cardinals first baseman also won the award in 2005.

Philadelphia first baseman Ryan Howard, the 2006 National League MVP, was the runner-up this time around. He picked up 12 first-place votes and 308 points.

Pujols hit .357 with 37 home runs and 116 RBIs while playing with a sore right elbow.

He was rewarded despite the Cardinals' fourth-place finish in the NL Central.

Howard led the majors with 48 homers and 146 RBIs for the World Series Champion Phillies.

Milwaukee outfielder Ryan Braun finished a distant third a year after being named NL rRookie of the Year.

Pujols earns a $200,000 bonus for winning the award. Ramirez gets $75,000 and Braun gets $50,000.

(Copyright 2008 By The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)