• My Scores
  • Golf
  • MLB
  • NBA
  • NHL
  • NFL Draft

St. Louis at Houston

Scoreboard
St. Louis (37-25) «200300011791
Houston (23-38)2000010014100

Cardinals 7, Astros 4

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

HOUSTON -- Jake Westbrook struck out in three pitches in his first career pinch-hit appearance last week.

The St. Louis starting pitcher was much better at the plate on Tuesday night.

Westbrook shook off early trouble on the mound and helped his cause with a three-run, tie-breaking double to help the Cardinals to a 7-4 win over the Houston Astros.

It was the NL Central-leading Cardinals' fourth straight win and it gave them the best record in the majors. The Astros have lost four in a row.

Westbrook (6-3) gave up a two-run homer to Carlos Lee in the first inning, but didn't allow another earned run to get his fourth win in a row. His bases-loaded, two-out double off Houston starter Brett Myers made it 5-2 in the fourth inning.

"I think I actually learned a little bit from my pinch-hit experience the other night," Westbrook said. "I wanted to be aggressive, but I also wanted to get a pitch to hit. I didn't want to just go up there and be swinging."

Former Houston star Lance Berkman was impressed with Westbrook's contribution on offense.

"We're missing about half of our offense so for the pitcher to step up and do what he did that's great," he said.

Berkman did his part, too, hitting his 13th homer of the season on a two-run shot in the first inning and Albert Pujols homered for the fourth straight game with a solo blast to left field in the eighth.

More on Cardinals at Astros
Related links
Fantasy videos

Updating MLB news | Follow on Twitter

Pujols has put the early chatter about his struggles to rest with five homers in the last four games.

"Pujols is a great ball player," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said simply. "He does great things."

Fernando Salas allowed one run in two innings for his 11th save.

Myers (2-5) yielded six hits and five runs with four strikeouts in six innings. Houston left 13 runners on base and was 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position until Chris Johnson's RBI double made it 7-4 in the ninth inning.

"The guys are giving us those quality at-bats," Houston manager Brad Mills. "The hits aren't coming in those situations, but they will. We've got all the confidence in the world that they're going to come. It's something that it's just kind of a slice we're going through. But it'll be fine."

Westbrook allowed eight hits and two earned runs while walking three in 5 1/3 innings, but he consistently escaped trouble with Houston runners in scoring position after giving up the early home run to Lee that tied the game 2-2.

Westbrook allowed two singles in the sixth before J.R. Towles reached on an error by shortstop Ryan Theriot when the ball rolled between his legs to load the bases. Westbrook was replaced by Jason Motte, who plunked pinch hitter Matt Downs on the right hand to walk in a run and get Houston within 5-3.

Motte settled down after that and was able to limit the damage by striking out Michael Bourn before Clint Barmes grounded into a force out to end the inning.

Berkman returned to the Cardinals lineup after sitting out Sunday following a cortisone shot to the left wrist he injured making a diving catch last month. In his second trip to Houston since a trade last year, the slugger, who spent 12 seasons with the Astros, was greeted by a mixture of cheers and boos each time he came to the plate.

Myers allowed consecutive singles to Yadier Molina and Skip Schumaker with two outs in the fourth before intentionally walking Daniel Descalso to load the bases. Then came Westbrook's line drive to center field that put St. Louis ahead 5-2.

"I made 78 good pitches and two bad ones, and it cost me five runs and us the game," Myers said. "There's not much more I can say about it."

Myers retired the next seven batters he faced before being replaced by Sergio Escalona.

Berkman gave the Cardinals the early 2-0 lead with his two-out blast to the bullpen in right center field. Hunter Pence extended his career-best hitting streak to 18 games with a single to set up Lee's blast in the bottom of the inning.

Bourn singled with one out in the third inning before a single by Pence with two outs. Westbrook walked Lee to load the bases, but he retired Jeff Keppinger to escape the jam.

The Cardinals walked three Astros to load the bases with no outs in the eighth inning, but Houston came up empty once again when Salas retired the next three batters, striking out two of them.

"That was beyond the call of duty," La Russa said of Salas. "That's so clutch. He's got great guts."

Theriot had an RBI-double in the ninth inning to extend his hitting streak to a career-best 20 games and push the lead to 7-3. It's the fifth time he's extended the streak on his last at bat.

Westbrook was 0-2 in three starts against Houston before Tuesday and his three RBI match his career total in 57 at bats entering Tuesday's game.

Notes

St. Louis right fielder Allen Craig bruised his right knee and received some stitches when he crashed into the fence on the right field line chasing a foul ball in the first inning. He was replaced by Jon Jay. ... Houston RHP Brandon Lyon, pitched an inning on his rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City. Manager Brad Mills said Lyon felt good after throwing 10 pitches in the inning. Lyon is on the 15-day DL with right biceps tendinitis and a partial right rotator cuff tear.

 
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.
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Players of the Game
St. Louis

L. Berkman
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Houston

C. Lee
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 
St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ryan Theriot, SS5011011 .298
Colby Rasmus, CF5110011 .269
Albert Pujols, 1B4111001 .278
Lance Berkman, LF3112100 .329
Allen Craig, RF1000010 .336
    Jon Jay, RF3000001 .323
    Fernando Salas, P0000000 .000
Yadier Molina, C4110001 .319
Skip Schumaker, 2B-RF4120000 .223
Daniel Descalso, 3B-2B3210121 .244
Jake Westbrook, P2013011 .143
    Jason Motte, P0000000 .000
   a- Tyler Greene, PH1000010 .212
    Miguel Batista, P0000000 .000
    Trever Miller, P0000000 .000
    Eduardo Sanchez, P0000000 .000
    Matt Carpenter, 3B1000011 .100
Totals3679728  
a-struck out for Motte in the 7th
Batting
2B - Ryan Theriot (11, F. Rodriguez), Jake Westbrook (2, Myers)
HR - Albert Pujols (14, Del Rosario), Lance Berkman (13, Myers)
RBI - Ryan Theriot (22), Albert Pujols (39), Lance Berkman 2 (42), Jake Westbrook 3 (4)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Theriot (12), Lance Berkman 2 (16), Jake Westbrook 3 (3)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Descalso-Schumaker-Pujols
E - Ryan Theriot (11, Misplayed grounder)
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jake Westbrook (W,6-3) 5.1832331 5.01
Jason Motte (H,6) 0.2000010 2.13
Miguel Batista (H,5) 0.2000100 2.03
Trever Miller (H,3) 0.1000000 2.25
Eduardo Sanchez0000200 2.10
Fernando Salas (S,11) 2211130 1.88
HBP - Downs (by Jason Motte)
WP - Eduardo Sanchez (5)
Pitches-Strikes - Jake Westbrook 100-64, Jason Motte 13-10, Miguel Batista 14-7, Trever Miller 5-2, Eduardo Sanchez 11-3, Fernando Salas 44-31
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jake Westbrook 8-4, Jason Motte 1-0, Trever Miller 1-0
Batters Faced - Jake Westbrook 26, Jason Motte 3, Miguel Batista 3, Trever Miller 1, Eduardo Sanchez 2, Fernando Salas 9
Houston Astros
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Michael Bourn, CF5010026 .273
Clint Barmes, SS5000007 .226
Hunter Pence, RF4120113 .313
Carlos Lee, LF3222201 .262
Jeff Keppinger, 2B5110005 .300
Brett Wallace, 1B4010113 .318
Chris Johnson, 3B4021112 .227
J.R. Towles, C3010101 .194
   a- Jason Bourgeois, PH1000011 .393
Brett Myers, P2000011 .167
   b- Matt Downs, PH0001000 .274
    Sergio Escalona, P0000000 .000
    Enerio Del Rosario, P0000000 .000
   c- Jason Michaels, PH0000100 .146
    Fernando Rodriguez, P0000000 .000
Totals36410477  
a-struck out for Towles in the 9th
b-hit by pitch for Myers in the 6th
c-walked for Del Rosario in the 8th
Batting
2B - Carlos Lee (13, Salas), Chris Johnson (10, Salas), J.R. Towles (5, Westbrook)
HR - Carlos Lee (5, Westbrook)
RBI - Carlos Lee 2 (31), Chris Johnson (28), Matt Downs (14)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Lee 2 (15), Chris Johnson (8)
CS - Brett Wallace (1, 2nd base by Westbrook/Molina)
Team LOB - 13
Fielding
PB - J.R. Towles (2)
Houston Astros
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Brett Myers (L,2-5) 6655141 5.02
Sergio Escalona 0.1000010 2.45
Enerio Del Rosario 1.2111111 3.45
Fernando Rodriguez 1211020 1.59
IBB - Descalso by Brett Myers
Pitches-Strikes - Brett Myers 83-58, Sergio Escalona 3-3, Enerio Del Rosario 26-20, Fernando Rodriguez 16-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brett Myers 5-9, Enerio Del Rosario 2-2
Batters Faced - Brett Myers 25, Sergio Escalona 1, Enerio Del Rosario 7, Fernando Rodriguez 5
Game Information
Attendance - 23277
Game Time - 3:10
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Bill Miller, First Base - James Hoye, Second Base - Tom Hallion, Third Base - Phil Cuzzi