Houston at St. Louis

Houston (15-28)000000100160
St. Louis (25-19) «00401000x5100

Cards down Astros despite losing Holliday, Berkman

CBSSports.com wire reports

ST. LOUIS -- Kyle Lohse paid no attention to the ever-changing defensive lineup behind him. He just kept attacking the Houston Astros' lineup.

Lohse threw eight dominant innings to beat the Astros for the second time in less than a month, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-1 victory Wednesday night. Manager Tony La Russa used three players in left field and three at second base to compensate for what he believed to be minor injuries to left fielder Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman.

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"I just kept throwing it up there and letting them hit to whoever was somewhere, I don't know," Lohse said. "I couldn't even tell who was where at the end.

"We've got of guys that can play different positions and you need that, especially on a weird night like tonight when guys are going down."

Jon Jay had two RBI in a four-run third and started a double play in the seventh with a diving catch in center field. Pinch-hitter Pete Kozma -- hitting for Berkman -- had an RBI double in his first career at-bat for the Cardinals, who have won three in a row while limiting the opposition to only three runs.

Bud Norris was knocked out after five innings against a team he's dominated. Norris (2-3) had been 5-1 with a 1.97 ERA against the Cardinals and 4-0 in St. Louis, while going only 17-15 overall.

"That's a good hitting lineup," Norris said. "I'm fortunate to do so well against them the last couple of times, but you can't hold them down forever.

"They found some holes and it's a little tough to swallow, but that's the game of baseball."

Norris faced 10 batters in the third, issuing a bases-loaded walk to Allen Craig, and allowed five runs on seven hits in his second-shortest appearance of the year.

Michael Bourn and Humberto Quintero had two hits apiece for the Astros, who have lost four in a row and totaled four runs the last three games.

La Russa finished with only backup catcher Gerald Laird on the bench. Holliday was removed after two innings with a tight left quadriceps, perhaps from making a running catch at the warning track, and Kozma pinch hit in the sixth for Berkman, removed as a precaution with tightness in his right wrist not long after he charged to make a diving catch in right field.

"Holliday gave me a nod, which makes me think that he'll be back soon," La Russa said, adding that his cleanup hitter might not be back for a day game Thursday.

Berkman said he jammed his wrist into the ground getting the catch. X-rays showed no problems.

"I didn't want to get jerked out of the game right there, I mean heck, there's adrenaline and everything else and then you can kind of identify it," Berkman said. "Tomorrow morning will be a good test to see how it feels when I wake up."

Lohse (5-2) allowed a run on six hits in eight innings, his fourth outing of eight or more innings, and has a 2.17 ERA. He was 4-8 with a 6.55 ERA last year while battling a forearm injury that required surgery in May.

"I'm just trying to keep things simple, trying not to think of the big picture and stay focused," Lohse said. "I haven't looked back so far."

Lohse threw seven scoreless innings at Houston on April 27 and the run was at 13 straight before Carlos Lee doubled to begin the seventh and scored on Chris Johnson's single. Johnson was easily doubled off after Jay made a nice running, diving catch of Clint Barmes' drive.

Albert Pujols is homerless in his last 88 at-bats, one off his career worst at the end of the 2009 season, after going 1 for 4 with an RBI single in the third.

Craig started for the second straight game at second base, where he has virtually no experience, and handled five chances flawlessly before going to the outfield.


  • Kozma, the Cardinals' first-round pick in 2007, was recalled earlier in the day after IF Nick Punto was placed on the DL with a right forearm injury. Kozma finished the game at 2B.
  • Despite an 0-for-14 slump, Holliday leads the National League with a .358 average. Berkman is batting .349.
  • Cardinals LPH Brian Tallet (broken right hand) is set for a second rehab outing on Friday.
  • La Russa, who returned from shingles on Monday, was uncomfortable Wednesday, saying "I'm itching and stinging."
  • Longtime broadcaster Milo Hamilton joined the Astros in anticipation of the franchise's first visit to Toronto on Friday, which will be Hamilton's 59th stadium.
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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Kyle Lohse yields just one run on six hits in eight innings and has a sparkling 2.17 ERA this season.  (AP)
Kyle Lohse yields just one run on six hits in eight innings and has a sparkling 2.17 ERA this season. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

J. Jay
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
St. Louis

K. Lohse
IP 8.0
H 6
ER 1
BB 1
K 3

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Houston Astros
Michael Bourn, CF4020000 .267
Angel Sanchez, 2B4000002 .260
Hunter Pence, RF4000010 .280
Carlos Lee, LF4110000 .244
Brett Wallace, 1B4000011 .312
Chris Johnson, 3B2011100 .212
Clint Barmes, SS3000012 .196
Humberto Quintero, C3020000 .245
Bud Norris, P2000011 .125
    Sergio Escalona, P0000000 .000
    Enerio Del Rosario, P0000000 .000
   a- Brian Bogusevic, PH1000001 .333
    Jose Valdez, P0000000 .000
a-grounded into a double play for Del Rosario in the 8th
2B - Carlos Lee (7, Lohse)
RBI - Chris Johnson (17)
Team LOB - 4
DP - Sanchez-Barmes-Wallace
Houston Astros
Bud Norris (L,2-3) 5755340 3.93
Sergio Escalona 1100010 4.50
Enerio Del Rosario 1100000 4.32
Jose Valdez 1100110 6.75
IBB - Berkman by Bud Norris
HBP - T. Greene (by Bud Norris)
Pitches-Strikes - Bud Norris 91-48, Sergio Escalona 6-5, Enerio Del Rosario 11-8, Jose Valdez 27-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bud Norris 7-2, Sergio Escalona 1-0, Enerio Del Rosario 2-1, Jose Valdez 2-0
Batters Faced - Bud Norris 24, Sergio Escalona 3, Enerio Del Rosario 4, Jose Valdez 5
St. Louis Cardinals
Ryan Theriot, SS4120000 .304
Jon Jay, CF4122010 .322
Albert Pujols, 1B4011001 .269
Matt Holliday, LF1000000 .357
    Mark Hamilton, LF1000000 .200
    Tyler Greene, 2B-RF1100001 .232
Lance Berkman, RF1000100 .349
   a- Pete Kozma, PH-2B10111001.000
Allen Craig, 2B-LF3001122 .255
Yadier Molina, C4130013 .323
Daniel Descalso, 3B3110113 .221
Kyle Lohse, P2000012 .125
   b- Colby Rasmus, PH1000002 .303
    Eduardo Sanchez, P0000000 .000
a-doubled for Berkman in the 5th
b-grounded out for Lohse in the 8th
2B - Pete Kozma (1, Norris), Daniel Descalso (7, Norris)
SH - Kyle Lohse (4)
RBI - Jon Jay 2 (11), Albert Pujols (25), Pete Kozma (1), Allen Craig (11)
2-OUT RBI - Pete Kozma (1), Allen Craig (6)
SB - Jon Jay (1, 2nd base off Del Rosario/Quintero), Tyler Greene (6, 2nd base off Norris/Quintero)
CS - Daniel Descalso (1, Home by Norris/Quintero)
PK - Ryan Theriot (1, Norris)
Team LOB - 7
Outfield Assists - Jon Jay 1
DP - Jay-Theriot-Pujols, Kozma-Theriot-Pujols
St. Louis Cardinals
Kyle Lohse (W,5-2) 8611130 2.17
Eduardo Sanchez 1000010 2.65
Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Lohse 102-70, Eduardo Sanchez 9-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Lohse 9-10, Eduardo Sanchez 1-1
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Game Information
Attendance - 35298
Game Time - 2:26
Temperature - 62
Umpires - Home - Greg Gibson, First Base - Todd Tichenor, Second Base - Gerry Davis, Third Base - Wally Bell