St. Louis at Houston

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St. Louis (51-46)000010200380
Houston (49-46) «0000011024120

Tejada's hit in ninth completes sweep; Astros one game behind Cards

CBSSports.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- Miguel Tejada refused to get down after missing the opportunity to drive in a run with the Houston Astros trailing by one and the bases loaded in the seventh inning Wednesday night.

He just hoped to get another chance.

He did.

Tejada singled in the winning run with two outs in the ninth inning, helping the Astros beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-3 to complete a three-game sweep of their NL Central rival.

"In the seventh I was out with the bases loaded, so I just put it in my mind that it doesn't matter what you do at one at-bat, more at-bats are coming," Tejada said calling the hit his favorite as an Astro. "When I [came] up in the ninth in that situation I just said: 'I've got to help my team here and try to be the guy.' "

Trailing 3-2 entering the ninth, Ivan Rodriguez led off with a single against Cardinals closer Ryan Franklin and scored when Chris Coste, subbing for the injured Lance Berkman, doubled on a long fly to center field that was just out of the reach of Colby Rasmus.

Tejada was mobbed by most of his teammates near the mound after his hit.

The victory pulled the Astros within a game of the Central-leading Cardinals after trailing by six games a month ago and nine on May 31.

"This is the closest we've been to the top since I've been here," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. "It feels good."

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa was unhappy his team let this one get away.

"We thought we were going to get a really good win, but we ended up with a tough loss," he said.

Astros starter Roy Oswalt isn't surprised by the Astros turnaround. After all, he's seen it before.

"We've been doing this since I got here," he said. "The first half is played to keep close, the second half is to gain ground and maybe catch up and go ahead by the end."

 Cards trade OF Duncan to BoSox for SS Lugo, cash

The runs were the first allowed Franklin (2-1) in 18 innings. He allowed four hits.

"You know you are not going to be perfect," Franklin said. "You know you are going to struggle every once in a while. And when you do, you just can't go out there and get some work in, and it's OK if you give up a few runs. That's a problem. If you give up runs, you lose."

Houston closer Jose Valverde (1-2) pitched a scoreless ninth for the victory.

The game was tied at 1 in the seventh when Ryan Ludwick beat the throw home on a single by Yadier Molina to give St. Louis the lead. Brendan Ryan's sacrifice fly scored Mark DeRosa and made it 3-1.

Kaz Matsui's bases-loaded single in the seventh pulled Houston within 3-2, but Chris Carpenter got out of the jam when Tejada flied out to end the inning.

Berkman, who was out of the starting lineup with a calf strain, hitting for Oswalt, got a single to load the bases before Matsui's hit.

DeRosa's solo home run in the fifth inning put St. Louis ahead 1-0. It was his third home run since being traded from Cleveland after he hit a pair Tuesday.

"He is a tremendous player, and we were really excited to get him," La Russa said. "This is what he has done his whole career, get big hits. So keep him healthy and he'll really help us."

Carpenter allowed eight hits and struck out five before he was replaced by Franklin for the ninth.

Skip Schumaker doubled in the sixth before Rasmus reached on a fielder's choice where Schumaker was thrown out at third. La Russa didn't like the call and argued with the third base umpire for a bit before returning to the dugout.

The Astros got out of that inning when Albert Pujols grounded into a double play.

Houston tied it at 1 in the sixth when Carlos Lee grounded into a force out that scored Michael Bourn.

Oswalt allowed seven hits and three runs in seven innings after throwing a complete game in his previous start.

Notes

  • St. Louis traded outfielder Chris Duncan to the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday for shortstop Julio Lugo and cash. Duncan has struggled since June 29, going 1 for 31 with no RBI.
  • Astros RHP Chris Sampson, on the disabled list with muscle spasms, threw a bullpen session on Wednesday and Cooper said he was feeling good.
 
Copyright 2015 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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After Miguel Tejada lifts the 'Stros in the ninth, Pudge Rodriguez returns the favor by hoisting up the hero.  (AP)
After Miguel Tejada lifts the 'Stros in the ninth, Pudge Rodriguez returns the favor by hoisting up the hero. (AP)

Players of the Game
Houston

I. Rodriguez
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
St. Louis

M. DeRosa
AB 3
R 2
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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St. Louis Cardinals
Skip Schumaker, 2B-LF4010010 .303
Colby Rasmus, CF4010010 .265
Albert Pujols, 1B4000001 .328
Ryan Ludwick, RF4120021 .271
Rick Ankiel, LF4010002 .218
    Ryan Franklin, P0000000 .000
Mark DeRosa, 3B3211111 .263
Yadier Molina, C3011000 .288
Brendan Ryan, SS2011000 .278
Chris Carpenter, P3000012 .107
    Joe Thurston, 2B0000000 .230
Totals3138316  
Batting
2B - Skip Schumaker (21, Oswalt)
HR - Mark DeRosa (16, Oswalt)
SF - Brendan Ryan (2)
RBI - Mark DeRosa (53), Yadier Molina (33), Brendan Ryan (15)
CS - Rick Ankiel (3, 2nd base by Valverde/Rodriguez)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Ryan-Schumaker-Pujols
St. Louis Cardinals
Chris Carpenter 8822250 2.26
Ryan Franklin (BS,2; L,2-1) 0.2422000 1.25
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Carpenter 114-71, Ryan Franklin 20-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Carpenter 11-7, Ryan Franklin 1-1
Batters Faced - Chris Carpenter 33, Ryan Franklin 6
Houston Astros
Michael Bourn, CF4110115 .285
Kazuo Matsui, 2B4021000 .253
Miguel Tejada, SS5021005 .327
Carlos Lee, LF4011001 .307
Geoff Blum, 3B4000002 .275
Hunter Pence, RF4000030 .294
Ivan Rodriguez, C3220100 .261
Chris Coste, 1B4021011 .244
Roy Oswalt, P2000001 .154
   a- Lance Berkman, PH1010000 .273
    Matt Kata, PR0000000 .176
    Tim Byrdak, P0000000 .000
    LaTroy Hawkins, P0000000 .000
    Jose Valverde, P0000000 .000
   b- Jeff Keppinger, PH1110000 .269
Totals36412425  
a-singled for Oswalt in the 7th
b-singled for Valverde in the 9th
Batting
2B - Ivan Rodriguez (14, Carpenter), Chris Coste (11, Franklin)
SH - Kazuo Matsui (8)
RBI - Kazuo Matsui (23), Miguel Tejada (54), Carlos Lee (58), Chris Coste (10)
2-OUT RBI - Kazuo Matsui (9), Miguel Tejada (20)
SB - Michael Bourn (36, 2nd base off Carpenter/Molina)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Matsui-Tejada-Coste, Tejada-Matsui-Coste
Houston Astros
Roy Oswalt 7733141 3.66
Tim Byrdak 0.2000000 3.38
LaTroy Hawkins 0.1000000 2.41
Jose Valverde (W,1-2) 1100020 3.00
Pitches-Strikes - Roy Oswalt 79-56, Tim Byrdak 6-5, LaTroy Hawkins 4-2, Jose Valverde 11-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Roy Oswalt 9-6, Tim Byrdak 1-1, LaTroy Hawkins 1-0
Batters Faced - Roy Oswalt 27, Tim Byrdak 2, LaTroy Hawkins 1, Jose Valverde 3
Game Information
Attendance - 37619
Game Time - 2:28
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Angel Campos, First Base - Jeff Nelson, Second Base - Mark Carlson, Third Base - Bob Davidson