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Houston at St. Louis

St. Louis
W: C. Carpenter (10-3) L: J. Fulchino (4-4)
HR: HOU - C. Lee (18)   STL - M. Holliday (13), M. Holliday (14)

Holliday continues torrid stretch, homers twice to power Cards

CBSSports.com wire reports

ST. LOUIS -- Matt Holliday and Chris Carpenter helped the St. Louis Cardinals continue their surge with two impressive performances.

Holliday hit two solo homers, Carpenter tossed an eight-hitter for his second complete game of the season and St. Louis beat the Houston Astros 3-1 on Saturday night.

"I felt good tonight and as the game went along I felt better," said Carpenter, who lowered his ERA to 2.10. "That was the big thing."

 Cards activate Greene from DL

Holliday connected on the first pitch for each of his homers, hitting a drive to right off Wandy Rodriguez in the second and a shot to center against Jose Valverde in the eighth. He also singled in the fourth and is hitting .606 with 10 RBIs in nine games since he was acquired from Oakland on July 24.

"Sometimes you really take advantage of pitches," he said, "and I've been able to take advantage of mistakes and put them in play."

Holliday is 7 for 8 in the first two games of the series with four RBI and three runs scored. He struck out against Jeff Fulchino in the sixth.

"If you make a pitch, you get him out," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. "We showed that we can do that. It's just that we've not made a pitch except one at-bat the whole time."

Carpenter (10-3), who has won five consecutive decisions, struck out five and walked none in his first complete game since a 3-1 victory against Cincinnati on June 4. He allowed only one runner past first after Carlos Lee's fourth-inning homer tied it at 1.

Carpenter also doubled and scored the go-ahead run on Julio Lugo's sacrifice fly off Jeff Fulchino (4-4) in the seventh. Carpenter moved up on Humberto Quintero's passed ball before Lugo's deep fly to center.

"His hitting was more impressive than his pitching, actually more important," manager Tony La Russa said. "That's tongue in cheek, but we can't get going and he strokes a double and scores the go-ahead run. That's huge."

Rodriguez left in the fifth with a strained right hamstring. Trainer Nathan Lucero tended to the left-hander in the top of the inning after he reached on a fielder's choice. After a short talk with Lucero and Cooper, Rodriguez stayed in the game and was forced out at second when Michael Bourn hit a bouncer to shortstop.

Rodriguez, who has won a personal-best five consecutive decisions, made some practice throws in the tunnel in the middle of the inning and said his leg hurt during his follow through. He didn't come out for the bottom half.

"It doesn't hurt that much," he said. "I think I'm not going to miss the start. By how I feel today, I don't think I'm going to miss another start but we'll see more tomorrow."


  • Bourn was thrown out by umpire Paul Emmel in the fifth after he was cut down trying to steal second. Bourn spiked his helmet on the ground, leading to the ejection. Replays indicted Bourn was safe.
  • Lee's drive was career No. 299 and just the fifth homer Carpenter has given up all season.
  • Holliday has a hit in his first nine games with the Cardinals, one game short of the team record held by Charley Smith (1966) and Alvin Dark (1956).
  • Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols is batting .120 (3 for 25) against Rodriguez after going 0 for 2 against the lefty. It's his worst average against any pitcher he's faced at least 20 times.
Copyright 2017 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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Matt Holliday loves being back in the NL, upping his average to .606 since being dealt to the Cards.  (AP)
Matt Holliday loves being back in the NL, upping his average to .606 since being dealt to the Cards. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

M. Holliday
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 2

C. Lee
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

Houston Astros
Michael Bourn, CF3000001 .286
    Jeff Fulchino, P0000000 .333
   a- Matt Kata, PH1000010 .214
    Jose Valverde, P0000000 .000
Kazuo Matsui, 2B4000012 .254
Miguel Tejada, SS4010002 .325
Carlos Lee, LF4121001 .310
Geoff Blum, 3B4010000 .268
Hunter Pence, RF4000022 .290
Chris Coste, 1B3000010 .243
Humberto Quintero, C3030000 .247
Wandy Rodriguez, P2010001 .073
    Jason Michaels, CF1000001 .195
a-struck out for Fulchino in the 8th
HR - Carlos Lee (18, Carpenter)
RBI - Carlos Lee (64)
CS - Michael Bourn (10, 2nd base by Carpenter/Molina)
Team LOB - 5
PB - Humberto Quintero (4)
E - Hunter Pence (3, Misplayed grounder), Miguel Tejada (13, Misplayed grounder)
Houston Astros
Wandy Rodriguez 4311041 2.63
Jeff Fulchino (L,4-4) 3410030 3.58
Jose Valverde 1211011 2.86
Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 53-36, Jeff Fulchino 47-34, Jose Valverde 17-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 6-3, Jeff Fulchino 4-2
Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 16, Jeff Fulchino 13, Jose Valverde 5
St. Louis Cardinals
Julio Lugo, SS3011010 .306
Mark DeRosa, 3B4010010 .259
Albert Pujols, 1B4000002 .317
Matt Holliday, LF4232010 .314
Ryan Ludwick, RF4000012 .265
Yadier Molina, C4030012 .284
Skip Schumaker, 2B4000015 .296
Colby Rasmus, CF3000001 .252
Chris Carpenter, P3110020 .147
2B - Yadier Molina (13, Rodriguez), Chris Carpenter (1, Fulchino)
HR - Matt Holliday 2 (14, Rodriguez, Valverde)
SF - Julio Lugo (2)
RBI - Julio Lugo (12), Matt Holliday 2 (64)
SB - Yadier Molina (6, 2nd base off Fulchino/Quintero)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Carpenter-Lugo-Pujols
E - Colby Rasmus (5, Missed catch of throw)
St. Louis Cardinals
Chris Carpenter (W,10-3) 9811051 2.10
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Carpenter 110-77
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Carpenter 15-5
Batters Faced - Chris Carpenter 33
Game Information
Attendance - 45074
Game Time - 2:15
Temperature - 77
Umpires - Home - Jerry Meals, First Base - Bill Hohn, Second Base - Paul Emmel, Third Base - Gary Darling