St. Louis at Houston

Scoreboard
St. Louis «20020000217110
Houston1000302000681

Pujols hits HR No. 29 in 10th inning, Cardinals squeak by Astros

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- Despite trailing by two with two outs in the ninth inning, Albert Pujols wasn't ready to give up.

Scott Spiezio hit a solo homer off Brad Lidge to pull within a run. Chris Duncan singled and David Eckstein walked before Aaron Miles' RBI single tied the score. Pujols then opened the 10th inning with a solo home run off Roy Oswalt, lifting the St. Louis Cardinals to a 7-6 win over the Houston Astros on Saturday.

"I was just thinking that the game's not over until you get 27 outs and I think a lot of things can happen in this game," Pujols said. "You saw it right there. We just tied the game against one of the best closers in the major leagues and that's why you can't take these games for granted."

Oswalt (6-6), in his first relief appearance since Aug. 24, 2004, gave up the home run to right field on his second pitch. It was Pujols' 29th homer of the season and gave the Cardinals consecutive victories for the first time since winning three straight June 16-18.

"It was a great win," Pujols said. "Hopefully this is the win we were looking for and we can turn some things around here."

Lidge will now have to deal with another failure against the Cardinals after being dogged by questions about his mind-set since Pujols' three-run homer that gave St. Louis a 5-4 win in Game 5 of the 2005 NL championship series.

"I feel bad about putting Roy into that situation," Lidge said. "Obviously he doesn't come into the game at all if I don't blow a save. This was my fault absolutely. I'm pretty disappointed with myself."

National League saves leader Jason Isringhausen (3-4) pitched a perfect ninth and 10th for the win.

"It looked like we were down and out," Spiezio said. "But we had just talked about, keep going until that last out's made -- until the last strike. Don't try to be a hero, just try to get on get something started."

The score was tied at four when Lance Berkman hit a two-run single in the seventh inning. Berkman, the NL RBI leader with 79, hit the ball just over the head of Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright with the bases loaded in the seventh to score Willy Taveras and Biggio. He also had a run-scoring single in the first.

Astros starter Roger Clemens, vying for his 343rd career win, received a no-decision after leaving with the score tied at four through six innings. The seven-time Cy Young winner allowed two earned runs and six hits. He struck out three and walked one in his fourth start of the season.

"I was just constantly making adjustments while I was out there," Clemens said. "I was just trying to do as much as I can. I'll have some time during the break to make more adjustments, continue to work hard and get stronger each time out."

In the first, Clemens allowed two consecutive singles before John Rodriguez scored after first baseman Mike Lamb couldn't scoop up a grounder by Scott Rolen.

The Cardinals made it 2-0 when Pujols scored on a force out.

The Astros pulled to 2-1 with Berkman's RBI single in the bottom of the first, but rookie starter Anthony Reyes got out of the inning with a double play.

Clemens threw just 10 pitches in the second inning thanks to Reyes bunting into a double play. He retired three straight batters in the third before things went a bit downhill in the fourth.

Jim Edmonds hit an RBI double, that landed just short of the wall in center field, before scoring on a single by Gary Bennett to extend the Cardinals' lead to 4-1.

Reyes faced the minimum in the second, third and fourth innings, but gave up a double to Chris Burke to lead off the fifth. He walked Brad Ausmus with one out before a sacrifice by Clemens sent Burke to third.

Biggio then hit a full-count three-run shot to left field to tie the game at four. Burke looked back to watch it fly into the stands before lifting his fist in jubilation and slowly trotting home.

The home run was Biggio's 2,884th career hit, moving him into a tie with Zack Wheat for 34th on the all-time list.

Reyes allowed five hits and four runs with four strikeouts and three walks in five innings.

An obviously angry Berkman said he was frustrated at the loss.

"There's no excuse for losing that game today," he said. "There was an absolute poor job on our part. If we continue to do that we might as well make vacation plans."

Notes

  • Houston leads the majors in double plays turned this season with 107.
  • Biggio has 268 career home runs.
  • With three strikeouts on Saturday, Clemens increased his career total to 4,517.
  • Cardinals C Yadier Molina entered the game in the bottom of the ninth. It was his first appearance since suffering a mild concussion after being hit in the head by a pitch on Thursday.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Roger Clemens allows two earned runs and six hits through six innings and receives a no-decision.  (AP)
Roger Clemens allows two earned runs and six hits through six innings and receives a no-decision. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

A. Pujols
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Houston

C. Biggio
AB 1
R 3
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
 

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St. Louis Cardinals
Aaron Miles, 2B5011002 .257
John Rodriguez, LF4110010 .309
    Braden Looper, P0000000 .500
   a- So Taguchi, PH1000002 .293
    Jason Isringhausen, P0000000 .000
Albert Pujols, 1B5221000 .312
Scott Rolen, 3B5120010 .333
Jim Edmonds, CF5112021 .264
Juan Encarnacion, RF5000012 .278
Hector Luna, SS2010100 .311
    Josh Kinney, P0000000 .000
    Randy Flores, P0000000 .000
    Adam Wainwright, P0000000 .333
    Scott Spiezio, LF1111000 .286
Gary Bennett, C3011001 .233
   b- Chris Duncan, PH1110000 .283
    Yadier Molina, C0000000 .224
Anthony Reyes, P2000013 .125
    David Eckstein, SS1000100 .310
Totals4071162611 
a-hit into fielder's choice for Looper in the 9th
b-singled for Bennett in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jim Edmonds (12, Clemens)
HR - Albert Pujols (29, Oswalt), Scott Spiezio (5, Lidge)
RBI - Aaron Miles (18), Albert Pujols (74), Jim Edmonds 2 (47), Scott Spiezio (25), Gary Bennett (11)
2-OUT RBI - Aaron Miles (4), Scott Spiezio (19)
SB - Hector Luna (4, 2nd base off Clemens/Ausmus)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Luna-Miles-Pujols, Miles-Luna-Pujols, Rolen-Miles-Pujols
St. Louis Cardinals
Anthony Reyes 5544341 3.86
Josh Kinney 1122210 5.40
Randy Flores0100000 4.15
Adam Wainwright 1100000 2.82
Braden Looper 1000020 4.17
Jason Isringhausen (W,3-4) 2000010 3.43
HBP - Biggio (by Josh Kinney)
Pitches-Strikes - Anthony Reyes 94-57, Josh Kinney 29-15, Randy Flores 9-6, Adam Wainwright 8-6, Braden Looper 11-7, Jason Isringhausen 24-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Anthony Reyes 6-3, Josh Kinney 2-0, Adam Wainwright 1-1, Braden Looper 1-0, Jason Isringhausen 3-2
Batters Faced - Anthony Reyes 21, Josh Kinney 7, Randy Flores 1, Adam Wainwright 3, Braden Looper 3, Jason Isringhausen 6
Houston Astros
Craig Biggio, 2B1313200 .280
    Dan Wheeler, P0000000 .000
    Brad Lidge, P0000000 .000
   a- Jason Lane, PH1000010 .205
    Roy Oswalt, P0000000 .111
Mike Lamb, 1B5030001 .335
Morgan Ensberg, 3B5000036 .236
Lance Berkman, RF5023000 .320
Preston Wilson, LF5000012 .285
Chris Burke, CF-2B4120020 .295
Adam Everett, SS3000111 .238
Brad Ausmus, C3100102 .237
Roger Clemens, P1000000 .000
    Chad Qualls, P0000000 .000
   b- Orlando Palmeiro, PH0000100 .219
    Willy Taveras, PR-CF1100000 .258
Totals346865812 
a-struck out for Lidge in the 9th
b-walked for Qualls in the 7th
Batting
2B - Mike Lamb (15, An. Reyes), Chris Burke (15, An. Reyes)
HR - Craig Biggio (8, An. Reyes)
SH - Roger Clemens (2)
RBI - Craig Biggio 3 (34), Lance Berkman 3 (79)
2-OUT RBI - Craig Biggio 3 (14)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Ausmus, Burke-Everett-Lamb
E - Mike Lamb (4, Misplayed grounder)
Houston Astros
Roger Clemens 6642130 2.82
Chad Qualls 1000000 3.65
Dan Wheeler (H,14) 1000010 3.55
Brad Lidge (BS,4) 1322111 5.49
Roy Oswalt (L,6-6) 1211011 3.15
Pitches-Strikes - Roger Clemens 85-55, Chad Qualls 5-4, Dan Wheeler 11-8, Brad Lidge 29-16, Roy Oswalt 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Roger Clemens 7-8, Chad Qualls 2-1, Dan Wheeler 2-0, Brad Lidge 1-1, Roy Oswalt 1-0
Batters Faced - Roger Clemens 25, Chad Qualls 3, Dan Wheeler 3, Brad Lidge 7, Roy Oswalt 4
Game Information
Attendance - 43424
Game Time - 3:18
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Ron Kulpa, First Base - Dan Iassogna, Second Base - Bob Davidson, Third Base - Dale Scott