MLB

Norris drops 10th straight in Astros loss to Cards

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ST. LOUIS (AP)

Bud Norris just can't catch a break.

He lost his 10th straight decision as Houston fell to the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 on Wednesday night.

Norris (5-11) allowed three runs in six innings. He's got a 6.78 ERA in his last 14 starts in which he's 0-10.

''I didn't have my best slider tonight but I worked both sides of the plate with my fastball and tried to make some pitches,'' Norris said. ''They snuck a couple across and they got the win.''

Brett Wallace and Chris Snyder homered for the Astros, who are winless in three games under interim manager Tony DeFrancesco. Houston, which dropped to 12-50 on the road, has lost six straight and is just 7-42 since June 28.

''We're not scoring enough runs,'' DeFrancesco said. ''We're trying to give these guys confidence. Hopefully more confidence, more at-bats, things will change for them. You have to hit a ball hard and it find a hole and that's not happening.''

Things looked good for the Astros for a while. Wallace went deep in the first and Snyder connected in the third off St. Louis starter Kyle Lohse (13-2) to give the Astros a 2-1 lead. In his previous three starts in August, Lohse had allowed a single run in 19 2-3 innings of work.

But St. Louis went ahead for good in the fifth thanks in large part to a mistake by Norris. Rafael Furcal hit a leadoff single, moved up on Lohse's sacrifice and scored on Jay's single to right. Jay eventually scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-2.

The wild pitch was the eighth for Norris.

''It was a wild pitch,'' Norris said. ''I got Holliday at the plate and Jay over on third. I tried to throw a good slider and it got out front and it sneaked by Synder. It's a tough break right there for sure but that's how it's been all year.''

Molina singled in Matt Holliday in the eighth to give the Cardinals some insurance.

Lohse gave up two runs and retired his last 14 batters while improving to 7-0 with a 2.21 ERA in 12 starts since he dropped a 3-2 decision against Kansas City on June 15.

Mitchell Boggs worked the eighth and Jason Motte finished for his 29th save in 34 chances, completing a three-hitter.

Allen Craig extended his hitting streak to a career-best 11 games with a first-inning single and scored a run for St. Louis. Jon Jay, Daniel Descalso and Yadier Molina each drove in a run.

St. Louis went ahead for good in the fifth. Rafael Furcal hit a leadoff single, moved up on Lohse's sacrifice and scored on Jay's single to right. Jay eventually scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-2.

Molina singled in Matt Holliday in the eighth.

Norris said that despite the many recent losses, the Astros are still competing.

''These guys are keeping their chins up,'' Norris said. ''We've got a game tomorrow so let's forget about this one.''

NOTES: Jake Westbrook (12-9) will pitch for the Cardinals in the series finale against Dallas Keuchel (1-5). St. Louis announced a $9.75 million, one-year contract with Westbrook on Tuesday that includes a mutual option for 2014. ... Houston's Jose Altuve had a double to give him 139 hits, tops among second baseman in the NL. ... Lohse had not allowed two home runs in a game since a 10-7 loss against Atlanta on May 30.

Tagged: Astros, Cardinals, Kyle Lohse, Rafael Furcal, Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina, Bud Norris, Jon Jay

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