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St. Louis at Houston

Scoreboard
St. Louis (22-29) «0001000078100
Houston (22-31)000001000151

Cardinals 8, Astros 1

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- The St. Louis Cardinals found some offense in the ninth inning. The Houston Astros are still looking for theirs.

Juan Encarnacion and Gary Bennett hit their first homers of the season on consecutive pitches in a seven-run ninth inning to lift the Cardinals to an 8-1 victory over the struggling Astros on Friday night.

Encarnacion's homer hit the wall above the yellow line in left field and broke a 1-all tie. Bennett extended the lead with his home run, also to left, on the next pitch from Chad Qualls (4-3). Bennett added a two-run double later in the inning that made it 8-1.

Bennett was shocked at his ninth-inning production.

"Two hits in one inning? I probably haven't had two at-bats in one inning since Little League, since I was 10 or 11 years old," he said with a smile.

The Cardinals have won three straight, while Houston has lost 11 of 12.

Houston ace Roy Oswalt was visibly upset after the game and said the lack of scoring when he pitches has been "tough mentally" for him. The Astros have been outscored 84-31 in their last 12 games.

"It's just hard to throw up zeros," Oswalt said. "You get out there and you get in a situation where you feel like you have to throw a perfect game. And if you give up one or two it's an uphill battle the rest of the game."

Oswalt allowed four hits and one run and struck out four in seven innings.

"I'm terribly disappointed in the way we played tonight," Astros manager Phil Garner said. "I keep saying it. I keep believing it. I think we're better offensively than we're showing. But we've got to start showing it pretty soon here."

Scott Spiezio had a two-run double in the ninth and pitcher Kip Wells got an RBI when his pop up dropped between second baseman Craig Biggio and right fielder Luke Scott.

Albert Pujols doubled to lead off the fourth for St. Louis and he scored after a sacrifice bunt and an error by first baseman Lance Berkman to make it 1-0.

Houston tied it at 1 in the sixth when Carlos Lee hit an RBI double off starter Adam Wainwright on the 14th pitch of his at-bat. Lee's hit sailed over a sprinting Jim Edmonds and landed on the hill in center field.

"That's the best at-bat I've ever had against me," Wainwright said. "That was just absurd. I threw everything I had at him. I pitched him in, I pitched him up. I threw sliders, fastballs, curveballs. The only thing I had left was a changeup, and that's what he hit. I thought I was going to have to start casting knuckleballs up there."

Ryan Franklin (2-0) allowed one hit and walked one in the eighth for the win.

Wainwright gave up a double to Hunter Pence in the first inning and didn't allow another hit until Pence's single in the sixth. He allowed four hits and one run with six strikeouts in seven innings. He had won both of his previous starts against Houston this season.

"He showed how special he can be," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "He did a great job to get out of the first inning, and after that, he was just really sharp."

Oswalt retired the first eight batters before giving up consecutive singles to Wainwright and David Eckstein in the third. Spiezio grounded out to end that inning.

Eckstein, who returned to the lineup Friday after missing five straight games with back spasms, was hit in the elbow by a pitch from Oswalt in the fifth inning. He jumped around wildly while holding his arm in pain before he was attended to by trainers and remained in the game.

"David's going to be very sore tomorrow," La Russa said. "We'll just have to see on him."

Notes

OF Chris Duncan missed the Colorado series and will miss the entire Houston series with bursitis and an infection in his left knee. ... Cardinals 3B Scott Rolen left the game after two innings with a strained right hamstring. "I think it's going to take a couple of days," La Russa said. "He said he hurt it when he was running to first base." ... Houston placed reliever Rick White on the 15-day DL with a pinched nerve in his neck. ... The Astros purchased C Eric Munson's contract from Triple-A Round Rock and moved C Hector Gimenez from the 15- to the 60-day DL.

 
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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Players of the Game
St. Louis

G. Bennett
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
St. Louis

S. Spiezio
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 
St. Louis Cardinals
David Eckstein, SS2010000 .280
   a- Aaron Miles, PH-SS2000012 .269
Scott Spiezio, LF-3B5122014 .275
Albert Pujols, 1B4210111 .295
Jim Edmonds, CF3000112 .240
Scott Rolen, 3B1000000 .258
    So Taguchi, LF3010001 .250
    Ryan Franklin, P0000000 .000
   b- Kip Wells, PH1111000 .300
    Russ Springer, P0000000 .000
Juan Encarnacion, RF4111122 .224
Gary Bennett, C5123002 .263
Adam Kennedy, 2B3100122 .224
Adam Wainwright, P2010000 .316
    Ryan Ludwick, LF0100000 .224
Totals35810748  
a-grounded out for Eckstein in the 7th
b-singled for Franklin in the 9th
Batting
2B - Scott Spiezio (7, Wheeler), Albert Pujols (11, Oswalt), Gary Bennett (2, Wheeler)
HR - Juan Encarnacion (1, Qualls), Gary Bennett (1, Qualls)
SH - Jim Edmonds (2), Adam Wainwright (3), Ryan Ludwick (1)
RBI - Scott Spiezio 2 (17), Kip Wells (2), Juan Encarnacion (7), Gary Bennett 3 (7)
2-OUT RBI - Kip Wells (1), Gary Bennett 2 (4)
SB - Ryan Ludwick (2, 2nd base off Wheeler/Ausmus)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Miles-Kennedy-Pujols
St. Louis Cardinals
Adam Wainwright 7411460 5.12
Ryan Franklin (W,2-0) 1100100 1.21
Russ Springer 1000010 3.00
Pitches-Strikes - Adam Wainwright 108-69, Ryan Franklin 15-7, Russ Springer 15-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Adam Wainwright 8-7, Ryan Franklin 1-1
Batters Faced - Adam Wainwright 29, Ryan Franklin 4, Russ Springer 3
Houston Astros
Craig Biggio, 2B3000100 .236
Hunter Pence, CF4120022 .353
Lance Berkman, 1B4010022 .245
Carlos Lee, LF3011101 .317
Luke Scott, RF2000201 .231
Morgan Ensberg, 3B3000115 .226
    Dan Wheeler, P0000000 .000
    Brian Moehler, P0000000 .250
Adam Everett, SS4000011 .209
Brad Ausmus, C4010010 .236
Roy Oswalt, P2000000 .115
   a- Mike Lamb, PH1000001 .267
    Chad Qualls, P0000000 .000
    Trever Miller, P0000000 .000
    Mark Loretta, 3B1000000 .346
Totals3115157  
a-popped out for Oswalt in the 7th
Batting
2B - Hunter Pence (10, Wainwright), Carlos Lee (17, Wainwright)
RBI - Carlos Lee (49)
SB - Hunter Pence (4, 2nd base off Wainwright/Bennett)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
E - Lance Berkman (5, Throwing)
Houston Astros
Roy Oswalt 7411240 3.20
Chad Qualls (L,4-3) 1322022 4.39
Trever Miller0022000 6.91
Dan Wheeler 0.2333210 4.07
Brian Moehler 0.1000010 7.27
IBB - Pujols by Dan Wheeler
HBP - Eckstein (by Roy Oswalt), Kennedy (by Trever Miller)
WP - Trever Miller (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Roy Oswalt 94-63, Chad Qualls 24-15, Trever Miller 7-4, Dan Wheeler 23-14, Brian Moehler 3-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Roy Oswalt 12-5, Chad Qualls 1-0, Trever Miller 1-0
Batters Faced - Roy Oswalt 28, Chad Qualls 6, Trever Miller 2, Dan Wheeler 7, Brian Moehler 1
Game Information
Attendance - 36784
Game Time - 3:13
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Gary Cederstrom, First Base - Lance Barksdale, Second Base - Adrian Johnson, Third Base - Jim Reynolds