Houston at St. Louis

Scoreboard
Houston (51-52)1000100103101
St. Louis (57-49) «00010012x4102

Holliday keeps sizzling with four hits as Cardinals roll

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

ST. LOUIS -- Thanks to Matt Holliday, the St. Louis Cardinals are surviving quite nicely during Albert Pujols' post-All-Star break slump.

Holliday had four hits for the second time in his eight games with his new team, one of them foiling an intentional walk to Pujols, and scored the go-ahead run on Rick Ankiel's eighth-inning single in a 4-3 victory over the Houston Astros on Friday night.

"I've had some times in my career where I've had a bunch of hits," Holliday said. "You try to just keep thinking about the next day. Come prepared, get ready and hit a couple of balls hard. Adding days up."

Pinch-hitter Matt Kata's RBI single put Houston ahead in the top of the eighth, before the Cardinals rallied for two runs in the bottom half.

Holliday's RBI double off Alberto Arias (2-1) tied it. He advanced to third on a wild pitch and Ryan Ludwick was intentionally walked before Ankiel's opposite-field hit helped the Cardinals win for the fourth time in five games.

Pujols carried the offense the first half of the season. But he's a quiet 12 for 53 (.226) with only three RBI in 14 games since hitting two homers in the first game after the break. He was 0 for 2 Friday, scoring the tying run in the eighth after getting hit by a pitch.

Trever Miller (3-0) froze Michael Bourn on a called third strike with two men on to end the eighth and Ryan Franklin worked around a leadoff single by Kaz Matsui in the ninth for his 24th save in 26 chances.

Holliday was 4 for 4 and had an RBI single in the fourth, duplicating his four-hit game in Philadelphia a week ago in his St. Louis debut. He is batting .586 (17 for 29) with a homer and eight RBI since joining the Cardinals in a trade from Oakland. He is the first Cardinal to hit in his first eight games with the team since Roger Maris in 1967, and he is the first Cardinal since 1954 to reach base safely two or more times in his first eight games.

"You want to have an opportunity to affect the game and try to have good at-bats, that's the goal," Holliday said. "Hopefully every at-bat I have is a competitive one where I'm totally focused and have a game plan and stick to it."

Holliday is a .439 career hitter at 4-year-old Busch Stadium with six homers and 12 RBI.

"We threw a couple of good pitches and he was able to hit them for a couple of base hits," Astros catcher Ivan Rodriguez said. "When you go through a streak like that, it's tough to get a guy out."

The Astros got three straight singles off Brad Thompson with two outs in the eighth, and Kata's third pinch-hit in his last seven at-bats put them ahead 3-2.

Mark DeRosa's 20th homer, and seventh in 11 games, tied it at 2 against Brian Moehler in the seventh. The Cardinals missed a chance to take the lead when Bourn, the center fielder, threw out Jason LaRue trying to score from second on Skip Schumaker's two-out hit off Wesley Wright.

Mitchell Boggs, recalled from Triple-A Memphis to take Todd Wellemeyer's spot in the rotation, had trouble qualifying for a decision just as in an earlier stint with the Cardinals. Boggs threw 99 pitches, 44 of them balls, while walking five and striking out five in five innings and left trailing 2-1.

"We had a lot of opportunities early in the game and didn't cash them in," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. "Those things usually come back to haunt you and they did tonight."

In his last three starts dating to May 6, Boggs has allowed 20 hits and 12 walks in 13 2/3 innings yet has kept the Cardinals in the game by allowing only five runs.

Moehler gave up two runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. He beat the Cardinals July 20 in Houston and is 5-0 in nine career starts against them.

Notes

  • Cardinals SS Brendan Ryan (bruised left ankle) is likely to miss the next few games while swelling subsides. He was injured fouling off a pitch on Thursday.
  • Wright made his first appearance since being treated for dehydration after allowing three runs and walking five in 2 1/3 innings Tuesday at Chicago.
  • The Cardinals plan to activate IF Khalil Greene (social anxiety disorder) from the 15-day DL on Saturday and are likely to option Boggs to Memphis.
 
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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How long can Matt Holliday keep this pace up? He's hitting .586 since joining the Cardinals. (US Presswire)
How long can Matt Holliday keep this pace up? He's hitting .586 since joining the Cardinals. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

M. Holliday
AB 4
R 1
H 4
HR 0
RBI 2
Houston

K. Matsui
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
 

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Houston Astros
Michael Bourn, CF5120022 .288
Kazuo Matsui, 2B3120100 .257
Miguel Tejada, SS5012002 .325
Carlos Lee, LF5020002 .308
    Jason Michaels, PR0000000 .198
Geoff Blum, 3B4000003 .268
Hunter Pence, RF1000300 .293
Ivan Rodriguez, C4110036 .251
Chris Coste, 1B3010111 .248
Brian Moehler, P3000023 .000
    Wesley Wright, P0000000 .500
   a- Matt Kata, PH1011000 .220
    Alberto Arias, P0000000 .000
Totals34310358  
a-singled for Wright in the 8th
Batting
2B - Michael Bourn 2 (20, Boggs, Boggs), Carlos Lee (19, Boggs)
SH - Kazuo Matsui (10)
RBI - Miguel Tejada 2 (62), Matt Kata (5)
2-OUT RBI - Matt Kata (1)
SB - Kazuo Matsui (11, 3rd base off Boggs/LaRue)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Michael Bourn 1
DP - Blum-Matsui-Coste
E - Hunter Pence (2, Dropped fly)
Houston Astros
Brian Moehler 6.2722151 4.99
Wesley Wright 0.1100000 5.84
Alberto Arias (BS,2; L,2-1) 1222110 2.33
IBB - Pujols by Brian Moehler, Ludwick by Alberto Arias
HBP - Pujols (by Alberto Arias)
WP - Alberto Arias (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Brian Moehler 97-66, Wesley Wright 1-1, Alberto Arias 20-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Moehler 9-5, Alberto Arias 1-0
Batters Faced - Brian Moehler 27, Wesley Wright 1, Alberto Arias 6
St. Louis Cardinals
Skip Schumaker, 2B4010012 .300
Julio Lugo, SS4110010 .305
Albert Pujols, 1B2100100 .320
Matt Holliday, LF4142000 .309
Ryan Ludwick, RF3000113 .268
Rick Ankiel, CF4011013 .240
Mark DeRosa, 3B4111011 .259
Jason LaRue, C3020000 .250
    Ryan Franklin, P0000000 .000
Mitchell Boggs, P1000000 .111
   a- Adam Wainwright, PH1000011 .150
    Brad Thompson, P0000000 .091
    Trever Miller, P0000000 .000
    Yadier Molina, C0000000 .278
Totals30410426  
a-struck out for Boggs in the 5th
Batting
2B - Matt Holliday (29, Arias)
3B - Julio Lugo (4, Moehler)
HR - Mark DeRosa (20, Moehler)
SH - Brad Thompson (2)
RBI - Matt Holliday 2 (62), Rick Ankiel (30), Mark DeRosa (61)
SB - Ryan Ludwick (4, 2nd base off Moehler/Rodriguez)
CS - Matt Holliday (4, 2nd base by Moehler/Rodriguez)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Schumaker-Pujols-Lugo, Lugo-Pujols
E - Rick Ankiel (4, Missed catch of throw), Jason LaRue (1, Throwing)
St. Louis Cardinals
Mitchell Boggs 5622550 3.29
Brad Thompson 2.2311020 4.95
Trever Miller (W,3-0) 0.1000010 1.98
Ryan Franklin (S,24) 1100000 1.33
HBP - Blum (by Mitchell Boggs)
Pitches-Strikes - Mitchell Boggs 99-55, Brad Thompson 37-26, Trever Miller 6-4, Ryan Franklin 13-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mitchell Boggs 4-4, Brad Thompson 3-3, Ryan Franklin 2-1
Batters Faced - Mitchell Boggs 25, Brad Thompson 11, Trever Miller 1, Ryan Franklin 4
Game Information
Attendance - 43760
Game Time - 2:55
Temperature - 78
Umpires - Home - Gary Darling, First Base - Jerry Meals, Second Base - Bill Hohn, Third Base - Paul Emmel