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Houston at St. Louis

St. Louis
W: J. Westbrook (9-4) L: B. Myers (3-11)
S: F. Salas (19)
HR: HOU - None   STL - A. Pujols (23),D. Freese (5)

Cards grab Central lead; Berkman aggravates shoulder

CBSSports.com wire reports

ST. LOUIS -- Albert Pujols has really gotten the St. Louis Cardinals off to quick starts lately.

The slugger homered in the first inning for the third time in the last six games and starter Jake Westbrook made it hold up with six innings of one-run ball as the Cardinals defeated the slumping Houston Astros 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Pujols hit the first pitch he saw from Houston starter Brett Myers on a line to left center field. The ball appeared to hit the top of the wall, but was ruled a home run by third base umpire Mike DiMuro. Houston center fielder Michael Bourn and left fielder Carlos Lee rushed in to dispute the call, which was subsequently reviewed by replay and upheld for Pujols' 23rd homer.

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"It was tough for me to see, but the whole reason I thought it was a homer is it bounced like 10 yards over his head," Pujols said. "I thought it hit the concrete off the pad."

Crew chief Jim Reynolds said that is exactly what happened.

"Once the replay that we looked at showed that it hit the concrete behind it, then it's a home run," Reynolds said.

Pujols had no problem with the play going under review.

"I think that's their job when you have a call like that," Pujols said. "They go inside and have a better view. If it wouldn't have been a home run they would have [changed] the call."

Despite the four minute delay to review the call, St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said he was never concerned.

"We had a good feeling he [DiMuro] had made the right call," La Russa said.

David Freese later cleared the fence with ease on an opposite field shot for the Cardinals, who have won five of six.

The Astros are going in the other direction. Houston fell to 0-5 on its season-long, 10-game road trip and 0-4 at Busch Stadium.

"It seems like things are working against us," Houston manager Brad Mills said.

Lee had an RBI single in the third for Houston's only run. He drove in Bourn, who had doubled to extend his hitting streak to 11 games.

Houston had plenty of chances against Westbrook (9-4), who allowed seven hits and a walk in his six innings. But the Astros went 2-for-17 with runners on base and 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

Westbrook allowed just the one run on seven hits over six innings of work.

"The Astros have a good hitting team and a lot of guys who have done good against me," Westbrook said. "I was able to battle through and get to the sixth."

Fernando Salas struck out the side in the ninth for his 19th save in 22 opportunities.

Myers (3-11) settled down after the Pujols' blast, allowing just Freese's solo shot with two-out in the sixth. He gave up 11 hits but just the three runs with no walks and four strikeouts in eight innings of work while falling to 0-4 in the month of July.

"It's an example of how things have been going for us," Myers said.


  • Cardinals second baseman Skip Schumaker is batting .368 in July (21-for-57).
  • Houston's Jose Altuve reached on an infield single in the first. Altuve has now hit safely in his first six Major League games, one shy of Russ Johnson's team record of seven games to start a career set in 1997.
  • Cardinals outfielder Lance Berkman was back in the lineup after missing a game to rest a sore shoulder, but left before the start of the fifth inning after going 0-for-2 to snap an eight-game hitting streak.
  • Bourn has been one bright spot on the trip. He stole his Major League leading 38th base Tuesday and is 10-for-23 in his last five games (.476).
Copyright 2016 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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David Freese hits a solo shot in the sixth to help the Cards win their fifth game in six tries. (US Presswire)
David Freese hits a solo shot in the sixth to help the Cards win their fifth game in six tries. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

A. Pujols
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

C. Lee
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0

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Houston Astros
Michael Bourn, CF4120101 .302
Jose Altuve, 2B4010014 .381
   a- Matt Downs, PH1000011 .239
Hunter Pence, RF4010012 .308
Carlos Lee, LF4021001 .279
Brett Wallace, 1B3000013 .275
Chris Johnson, 3B4000003 .246
Clint Barmes, SS4010000 .250
Humberto Quintero, C3010011 .253
   b- Angel Sanchez, PH1000010 .250
Brett Myers, P2000101 .125
   c- Jason Michaels, PH1000010 .209
a-struck out for Altuve in the 9th
b-struck out for Quintero in the 9th
c-struck out for Myers in the 9th
2B - Michael Bourn (25, Westbrook)
RBI - Carlos Lee (58)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Lee (20)
SB - Michael Bourn (38, 2nd base off Motte/Molina)
Team LOB - 10
Outfield Assists - Carlos Lee 1
DP - Johnson-Altuve-Wallace, Altuve-Barmes-Wallace, Lee-Barmes-Wallace
Houston Astros
Brett Myers (L,3-11) 81133042 4.66
Pitches-Strikes - Brett Myers 93-68
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brett Myers 12-4
Batters Faced - Brett Myers 31
St. Louis Cardinals
Skip Schumaker, 2B-RF4020000 .288
Jon Jay, LF4110002 .312
Albert Pujols, 1B4122000 .277
Lance Berkman, RF2000000 .286
    Nick Punto, 2B2000002 .269
David Freese, 3B3121000 .321
Colby Rasmus, CF3010011 .246
Yadier Molina, C3010011 .286
Daniel Descalso, SS3020002 .268
Jake Westbrook, P2000021 .100
    Trever Miller, P0000000 .000
    Jason Motte, P0000000 .000
   a- Tony Cruz, PH1000000 .300
    Lance Lynn, P0000000 .000
    Fernando Salas, P0000000 .000
a-grounded out for Motte in the 7th
HR - Albert Pujols (23, Myers), David Freese (5, Myers)
RBI - Albert Pujols 2 (62), David Freese (23)
2-OUT RBI - David Freese (12)
Team LOB - 4
St. Louis Cardinals
Jake Westbrook (W,9-4) 6711130 4.86
Trever Miller0100000 4.02
Jason Motte (H,9) 1000010 2.27
Lance Lynn (H,3) 1000000 3.86
Fernando Salas (S,19) 1000130 2.57
HBP - Wallace (by Jake Westbrook)
Pitches-Strikes - Jake Westbrook 97-59, Trever Miller 1-1, Jason Motte 14-11, Lance Lynn 12-8, Fernando Salas 22-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jake Westbrook 12-3, Lance Lynn 3-0
Batters Faced - Jake Westbrook 27, Trever Miller 1, Jason Motte 3, Lance Lynn 3, Fernando Salas 4
Game Information
Attendance - 35588
Game Time - 2:34
Temperature - 93
Umpires - Home - Cory Blaser, First Base - Andy Fletcher, Second Base - Jim Reynolds, Third Base - Mike DiMuro