Astros 3, Cardinals 0
The St. Louis Cardinals tried to be optimistic Tuesday night
after a second straight shutout left them with an 11-15 record in
August and seven games behind first-place Cincinnati in the NL
”It’s a good thing tomorrow starts a new month,” Jon Jay said.
”It’s September, so hopefully we can get on a roll. We just hope
that this was just one bad month. Hopefully we can all stay
positive and keep looking at the big picture. Tomorrow is a fresh
Wandy Rodriguez pitched seven innings and three relievers
completed the three-hitter as the Astros again beat the slumping
Hunter Pence drove in two runs in Houston’s three-run fourth
The Cardinals were also shut out Monday when J.A. Happ threw a
two-hitter in a 3-0 win. They have dropped four straight and seven
”The answer is, we’re trying,” St. Louis manager Tony La Russa
said. ”The guys are working on different things, the coaches are
working on different things. It’s not for lack of trying or lack of
adjusting. It’s not lack of concentration, we’re just not making it
Tim Byrdak replaced Rodriguez (11-12) for the eighth, but was
chased when he walked his first batter. Wilton Lopez finished the
Brandon Lyon gave up a double to Matt Holliday in the ninth and
walked Skip Schumaker with two outs, but pinch-hitter Randy Winn
struck out to end the game as Lyon earned his 10th save.
Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter (14-5) yielded six hits and
three runs with two walks in seven innings.
”Right now it just seems like it’s everything,” Carpenter
said. ”Right now, we pitch well and we’re not hitting. We don’t
pitch well, we score a bunch of runs. It just seems that it is a
little bit of everything, and it seems like we just can’t do
Pence’s two-run triple that landed just behind Colby Rasmus in
center field made it 2-0 in the fourth. Michael Bourn reached to
start the inning on an error by Schumaker when he couldn’t handle a
hard-hit grounder to second. Angel Sanchez followed with a single
to set up Pence’s hit.
”With a guy like Carpenter on the mound you don’t get too many
opportunities to have first and second, nobody out,” Pence said.
”So really I was just trying to get in there and … get Bourn to
third. Fortunately I was able to find a hole.”
Chris Johnson’s single to right field later in the inning scored
Pence and made it 3-0.
Rodriguez had some trouble in the first inning, walking Albert
Pujols with two outs before he advanced to second on a wild pitch.
The left-hander settled down to retire 10 of the next 11
Rodriguez walked ex-Astro Pedro Feliz with two outs in the
fourth, but the Cardinals didn’t get another baserunner until
Yadier Molina reached on an error by Johnson at third base to start
the seventh. Rodriguez struck out Feliz before Schumaker and
Brendan Ryan grounded into forceouts to end the inning.
Houston’s starters have a 2.16 ERA in the last 22 games and
haven’t allowed a run in the last 18 2-3 innings.
”It’s becoming a nice habit to come in and say that our
pitching did an outstanding job,” manager Brad Mills said. ”Wandy
did well tonight. He’s been throwing the ball extremely well for
the last 2 1/2, three months, mixing his pitches extremely well and
getting ahead of the hitters. He was almost textbook.”
Rodriguez struck out five for his 62nd career win to move past
Jim Deshaies and into third place in franchise history for wins by
a left-handed pitcher.
Jason Castro and Pence were both tagged out at second trying to
stretch singles into doubles.
NOTES: Cardinals RHP Jeff Suppan (groin) will come off the
disabled list Wednesday and is scheduled to start. It will be his
first appearance since July 31. … The Cardinals expect LHP Dennys
Reyes (left elbow) to come off the DL on Wednesday. … The Astros
will recall OF-INF Brian Bogusevic, INF Matt Downs and LHP Wesley
Wright from Triple-A Round Rock and RHP Henry Villar from Double-A
Corpus to join the team on Wednesday. They will also purchase the
contract of C Brian Esposito from Round Rock. … Houston reliever
Matt Lindstrom (back strain) pitched a scoreless inning in his
first rehabilitation outing for Corpus Christi. … INF Jeff
Keppinger (toe) has returned to Houston after his rehab assignment
and is eligible to come off the DL on Wednesday.