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St. Louis at Houston

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St. Louis (22-30)020100000361
Houston (23-31) «11003120x890

Astros hand Cardinals' Wells league-leading 10th loss

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- The Houston Astros broke out of their hitting slump on Saturday and extended Kip Wells' misery in the process.

Carlos Lee hit a homer and had three RBI and rookie Hunter Pence drove in two runs to lead the Astros to an 8-3 win over the Cardinals and hand Wells his major league-leading 10th loss.

Adam Everett and Luke Scott also homered to help the Astros to their second win in 13 games.

"It was beautiful to come out there and swing the bats the way we swung them today," Everett said. "Hopefully that's just a sign of some things to come. We need to get going."

St. Louis led 3-2 in the fifth before a bases-loaded double by Pence scored Everett and pitcher Chris Sampson. Houston pushed its lead to 5-3 when Craig Biggio scored on a groundout by Lance Berkman.

The Astros, who have scored three or fewer runs in nine of their past 13 games, evened the series at 1 after Friday night's 8-1 loss.

Playing in his hometown, Wells (2-10) continued to struggle. He allowed seven hits and six runs for his sixth straight road loss. He walked three and had an error when he mishandled a bunt by Sampson in the fifth.

"I don't necessarily feel I should be 2-10, but it's about executing pitches and I'm not doing that," Wells said. "If I knew exactly what was wrong, I would have fixed it. Ultimately, location is the key."

"He's just making mistakes," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "You can get away with some of them, but eventually you'll get yourself into trouble."

Lee's 11th home run was a two-run shot that landed in the first row in the stands in right field. Right fielder Juan Encarnacion had his glove up, but appeared to misjudge the ball and shook his fist angrily after the miss.

"He just told me he was surprised he didn't catch it," La Russa said. "That was it."

Lee leads the National League with 52 RBI.

"We played a really good game today," Lee said. "We did what we're supposed to. We got key hits at the right times."

Brad Lidge threw a 1-2-3 ninth and extended his shutout streak to seven innings covering six appearances. The former closer said he's feeling better than ever after offseason work on his mechanics.

Rookie Sampson (5-5) pitched eight innings for the win in his longest outing of his career. He allowed six hits and three runs with one walk. His five wins leads NL rookies.

"I had the good sinker working today," Sampson said. "Starting in the fourth or fifth inning I was able to put it where I wanted it and get a good consistent sink on it."

La Russa was complimentary of Sampson's work.

"Sampson was way down in the zone," he said. "We just beat everything into the ground. He did a good job of making good pitches."

Scott's fifth home run in the sixth inning made it 6-3. Everett's second homer of the year, to the Crawford Boxes in right field, tied it at two in the second inning. He added a single in the fifth.

Jim Edmonds hit a solo home run to right field in the second inning to tie it at 1-all. A sacrifice fly by Aaron Miles put St. Louis ahead 2-1.

The Astros went up early when Lee's sacrifice fly scored Biggio in the first.

Encarnacion scored on a sacrifice fly in the fourth when catcher Eric Munson, called up from Triple-A Round Rock after the game Friday, couldn't handle the throw from left field.

Notes

  • 3B Scott Rolen, who left Friday's game after two innings with a strained hamstring, also missed Saturday's game.
  • Cardinals Brian Esposito and Brendan Ryan made their major league debuts on Saturday.
  • Biggio got his 2,978th hit with a leadoff single.
 
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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Carlos Lee is an RBI machine, plating three runs to add to his league-leading total of 52.  (AP)
Carlos Lee is an RBI machine, plating three runs to add to his league-leading total of 52. (AP)

Players of the Game
Houston

C. Lee
AB 1
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
Houston

A. Everett
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
 
St. Louis Cardinals
Adam Kennedy, 2B4010000 .224
Scott Spiezio, 3B4010000 .274
Albert Pujols, 1B4000002 .289
Jim Edmonds, CF4111001 .240
Juan Encarnacion, RF3210110 .230
Ryan Ludwick, LF4020011 .245
Gary Bennett, C2001002 .254
    Brian Esposito, C0000000 .000
Aaron Miles, SS2001000 .264
    Kelvin Jimenez, P0000000 .000
Kip Wells, P2000001 .273
    Tyler Johnson, P0000000 .000
    Brendan Ryan, SS1000000 .000
Totals3036312  
Batting
2B - Juan Encarnacion (4, Sampson), Ryan Ludwick (3, Sampson)
HR - Jim Edmonds (6, Sampson)
SF - Gary Bennett (2), Aaron Miles (2)
RBI - Jim Edmonds (19), Gary Bennett (8), Aaron Miles (8)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Kennedy-Pujols
E - Kip Wells (3, Throwing)
St. Louis Cardinals
Kip Wells (L,2-10) 5765322 6.40
Tyler Johnson 1000010 1.86
Kelvin Jimenez 2222121 7.88
Pitches-Strikes - Kip Wells 87-52, Tyler Johnson 9-5, Kelvin Jimenez 27-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kip Wells 6-7, Tyler Johnson 1-1, Kelvin Jimenez 2-2
Batters Faced - Kip Wells 25, Tyler Johnson 3, Kelvin Jimenez 9
Houston Astros
Craig Biggio, 2B5210025 .235
    Brad Lidge, P0000000 .000
Hunter Pence, CF4022010 .358
Lance Berkman, 1B3101101 .241
Carlos Lee, LF1113200 .321
Mark Loretta, 3B-2B4000013 .333
Luke Scott, RF4111000 .231
Eric Munson, C3010100 .333
Adam Everett, SS4231001 .222
Chris Sampson, P1100000 .176
   a- Mike Lamb, PH-3B1000011 .264
Totals3089845  
a-struck out for Sampson in the 8th
Batting
2B - Hunter Pence (11, Wells)
HR - Carlos Lee (11, Jimenez), Luke Scott (5, Wells), Adam Everett (2, Wells)
SF - Carlos Lee (9)
SH - Chris Sampson 2 (6)
RBI - Hunter Pence 2 (21), Lance Berkman (29), Carlos Lee 3 (52), Luke Scott (27), Adam Everett (12)
2-OUT RBI - Adam Everett (3)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Carlos Lee 1
Houston Astros
Chris Sampson (W,5-5) 8633101 3.43
Brad Lidge 1000020 2.70
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Sampson 89-51, Brad Lidge 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Sampson 15-8
Batters Faced - Chris Sampson 30, Brad Lidge 3
Game Information
Attendance - 39234
Game Time - 2:29
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Lance Barksdale, First Base - Adrian Johnson, Second Base - Jim Reynolds, Third Base - Gary Cederstrom