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St. Louis at Houston

Scoreboard
St. Louis (74-63)000000000090
Houston (71-66) «01000002x350

Astros 3, Cardinals 0

CBSSports.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- Meet Carlos Lee Jr.

No, not the actual son of injured slugger Carlos Lee, but the man who stepped in for the left fielder and supplied the power the Astros were sorely missing once Lee fractured his pinky on Aug. 10.

That would be Ty Wigginton, who hit his 12th home run of August to help the Astros beat the St. Louis Cardinals 3-0 on Sunday.

Houston swept the three-game series with the Cardinals and has won five in a row. The Astros finished 21-9 for the month, the third best record in the National League behind Chicago and Milwaukee.

"In general, we've done a terrific job all the way around this month," manager Cecil Cooper said. "Pitching well has been the biggest key. But Ty has been tremendous. He's made people say Carlos who?

"Wiggy's staying on balls better than he was before. He's hitting them to center and to right. We don't have a Carlos Lee now but we have a Carlos Junior."

Wigginton, who tied the August club record set by Jeff Bagwell in 2000 when he hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning, would have none of that.

"That's all Coop," Wigginton said after being told of Cooper's comment. "Nobody is going to replace Carlos Lee. He's a great offensive player and has been doing it for a long time.

"When you get good pitching and good defense like we've had, good things happen to you."

Starter Wandy Rodriguez (8-6) left after 5 2/3 innings with a strained right oblique muscle. Club officials said he is day to day.

"I felt a pain in my side," Rodriguez said. "I felt it when I was throwing to Pujols. I was trying to throw him inside and I threw too quick. But I'll be all right. I don't plan to miss a start."

Rodriguez allowed seven hits and no walks, striking out four. He was replaced by Chris Sampson.

Sampson pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings and LaTroy Hawkins came in to pitch a perfect eighth.

Hawkins has made 14 appearances without allowing a run since coming over in a trade with the Yankees July 30. He has struck out 17 in the 11 innings he has pitched for the Astros.

Jose Valverde pitched a perfect ninth inning and picked up his 37th save in 43 chances. He has recorded saves in each of his last 10 appearances, the longest streak in the NL this season and an Astros single-season club record.

Houston took a 1-0 lead in the second when Lance Berkman led off with a double and was sacrificed to third. He scored on Hunter Pence's single up the middle.

The Cardinals fell six games behind the Brewers in the wild-card race. Before the weekend, they were three games back.

Manager Tony La Russa was thrown out of the game for arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Mike Winters in the sixth inning. Albert Pujols and Ryan Ludwick had argued third-strike calls in consecutive at bats before La Russa came out and was ejected for the third time this season.

"Was I surprised?" La Russa said. "No. You can't come out of the dugout to start talking about balls and strikes. I do appreciate the fact that he let me come out and let me explain my side instead of just turning around and going the other way."

Todd Wellemeyer (11-6) went seven innings and allowed one run and four hits and he had a similar opinion about the balls and strikes.

"All you can do is just smile," Wellemeyer said. "I saw what he was giving their guy, and I don't get the corner. But you can't do anything about it."

Notes

In the first inning, Pence threw out Pujols at second for his 15th outfield assist this season, moving him into the league lead. ... Yadier Molina's single in the fourth gave him an 11-game hitting streak. ... The 21 wins are the most in a month for Houston since going 22-7 in July of 2005.

 
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

A. Pujols
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
Houston

T. Wigginton
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 
St. Louis Cardinals
Cesar Izturis, SS4000001 .249
Josh Phelps, LF4010012 .333
Albert Pujols, 1B4020020 .364
Ryan Ludwick, RF4000022 .301
Troy Glaus, 3B3010102 .271
Yadier Molina, C4010001 .311
Aaron Miles, 2B4020001 .319
Todd Wellemeyer, P2000022 .146
    Ron Villone, P0000000 .000
    Ryan Franklin, P0000000 .000
   a- Rick Ankiel, PH1000010 .269
Skip Schumaker, CF3020001 .310
Totals3309018  
a-struck out for Franklin in the 9th
Batting
SH - Todd Wellemeyer (11)
Team LOB - 8
St. Louis Cardinals
Todd Wellemeyer (L,11-6) 7411040 3.76
Ron Villone 0.1011000 4.98
Ryan Franklin 0.2111001 3.62
HBP - Pence (by Todd Wellemeyer), Erstad (by Ron Villone)
Pitches-Strikes - Todd Wellemeyer 98-58, Ron Villone 3-2, Ryan Franklin 10-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Todd Wellemeyer 8-9, Ron Villone 1-0, Ryan Franklin 1-1
Batters Faced - Todd Wellemeyer 26, Ron Villone 2, Ryan Franklin 3
Houston Astros
Darin Erstad, CF-LF3100001 .292
Ty Wigginton, LF4112020 .303
    Jose Valverde, P0000000 .000
Miguel Tejada, SS4010000 .281
Lance Berkman, 1B4110001 .335
Geoff Blum, 3B3000002 .242
Hunter Pence, RF2011011 .263
David Newhan, 2B3000011 .250
Brad Ausmus, C3010002 .225
Wandy Rodriguez, P1000000 .105
    Chris Sampson, P0000000 .136
    LaTroy Hawkins, P0000000 .000
   a- Michael Bourn, PH-CF1000000 .221
Totals2835304  
a-grounded out-bunting for Hawkins in the 8th
Batting
2B - Miguel Tejada (31, Wellemeyer), Lance Berkman (43, Wellemeyer)
HR - Ty Wigginton (21, Franklin)
SH - Wandy Rodriguez (4)
RBI - Ty Wigginton 2 (52), Hunter Pence (69)
SB - Hunter Pence (8, 2nd base off Wellemeyer/Molina)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Hunter Pence 1
DP - Blum-Newhan-Berkman, Tejada-Newhan-Berkman
Houston Astros
Wandy Rodriguez (W,8-6) 5.2700040 3.76
Chris Sampson (H,9) 1.1200120 4.13
LaTroy Hawkins (H,8) 1000010 4.50
Jose Valverde (S,37) 1000010 3.75
Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 93-63, Chris Sampson 24-18, LaTroy Hawkins 13-8, Jose Valverde 18-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 10-1, Chris Sampson 1-1, LaTroy Hawkins 1-1, Jose Valverde 1-1
Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 22, Chris Sampson 7, LaTroy Hawkins 3, Jose Valverde 3
Game Information
Attendance - 35638
Game Time - 2:42
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Mike Winters, First Base - Marvin Hudson, Second Base - Randy Marsh, Third Base - Shawn Rakos