(Wednesday, June 6th)
Final Score: St. Louis 4, Houston 3
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Allen Craig's solo home run in the third inning was the difference on Wednesday as the St. Louis Cardinals edged the Houston Astros, 4-3, in the second of a three-game set.
Craig finished 2-for-4 and added an RBI single to go with two runs scored. Daniel Descalso ripped a solo homer and David Freese contributed an RBI double for the defending World Series champs, who have won two of their last three since dropping five straight.
"The guys did a great job, every one of them," remarked Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. "I'm extremely proud of how we threw the ball and of how this offense just fights."
Adam Wainwright (5-6) allowed three runs on seven hits and a walk while fanning eight to earn the win. Jason Motte came on with two down in the eighth and finished off his 10th save of the season.
Jose Altuve went 2-for-5 with an RBI single, while Brett Wallace and Brian Bogusevic chipped in with RBI singles for the Astros, who had their two-game winning streak halted.
Bud Norris (5-3) was tagged with the loss after allowing four runs on seven hits. He did not issue a walk and struck out a season-high 12 hitters.
"I don't look at that, I'm just trying to get outs," Norris said of his strikeout total. "I have to throw more ground balls. When you get more strikeouts, you have to throw more pitches. My job is to put zeros on the board, not worry about strikeouts."
The Cards took the early lead with three runs in their first at-bat and did not let it get away. Descalco followed a Rafael Furcal strikeout by banging a fastball over the right field wall for the first run of the game. Carlos Beltran doubled and scored on a single by Craig, who then came around to cross home plate on a double by Freese.
Craig gave the Cardinals a 4-0 lead in the third when he belted a fastball from Norris deep into the seats in left for his seventh long ball of the season.
Houston threatened in the fifth. Jason Castro roped a one-out single for the Astros' first hit of the game. Norris and Altuve followed with hits to load the bases with one out, but Wainwright fought back to strike out Jed Lowrie and Fernando Martinez to keep Houston off the board.
The Astros would capitalize on scoring chances in the sixth, plating three runs to make it a 4-3 game. Chris Johnson laced a triple to deep center and scored on a single by Wallace for the first run of the inning. After Justin Maxwell fanned, Castro ripped a single to center and Bogusevic brought home Wallace with a base hit, ending the night for Wainwright. Victor Marte came in from the Cardinals bullpen and allowed an RBI single to Altuve before getting Lowrie to pop out to end the inning.
Castro led off the Houston eighth with a base hit to left and pinch-hitter Marwin Gonzalez beat out an infield single and went to second on a throwing error by Matt Adams. On the play, Castro rounded third and broke for home, but was thrown out at the plate by Descalso, cutting down what would have been the tying run.
Motte was summoned from the bullpen and walked Lowrie, but fanned Martinez to keep his team in front.
J.D. Martinez began the Houston ninth with a base hit, but was erased on a double-play groundout by Johnson. Motte then plunked Wallace, but struck out Maxwell to finish off the win.
Entering play on Wednesday, Norris was 7-2 in his career against the Cardinals...Houston finished 4-for-11 with runners in scoring position and stranded 13 on base...Gonzalez left the game in the eighth after he appeared to injure his leg rounding second base.
06/07 02:08:14 ET