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St. Louis at Houston

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St. Louis (17-11) «2112010108110
Houston (13-15)000100000181

Cardinals 8, Astros 1

CBSSports.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- Adam Wainwright hasn't felt like himself this season in his return from elbow-ligament replacement surgery that cost him all of last year.

On Sunday, he finally felt close to being the pitcher he once was.

Tyler Greene hit a career-high two homers and drove in four runs, Wainwright continued his dominance of the Astros and the St. Louis Cardinals got an 8-1 win over Houston.

"It was the first time all year I've really felt extension out over the rubber and better life on the fastball, especially early on," Wainwright said. "I controlled the counts for the most part and let our defense work."

The victory breaks a season-long five-game winning streak for the Astros and ends a three-game skid for the Cardinals.

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Cardinals manager Mike Matheny raved about Wainwright.

"Adam was great," Matheny said. "He seemed to have a real good feel with his fastball, it was sinking, he was hitting the corners. You could see that they were just off-balance and that curveball seemed to have a little extra bite to it. You just didn't see the kind of swings that you were seeing in some other games this year."

Allen Craig also homered for St. Louis, getting things going with a two-run shot in the first inning.

Greene's two-run home run in the fourth pushed the lead to 6-0 and his solo homer in the eighth made it 8-1.

Wainwright (2-3) allowed seven hits and one run with seven strikeouts in seven innings. He improved to 10-1 in 17 career appearances against the Astros -- his most wins against any team. But Wainwright believes his success was more about him than the opponent.

"I don't think it had anything to do with who I was facing, it was more just going out there executing," he said.

Wainwright is 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA in his past three starts after opening the season 0-3 with a 9.88 ERA.

Houston starter J.A. Happ (2-2) allowed six hits and a season-high six runs -- five earned -- in five innings. He has lost five straight games against the Cardinals.

"He was having a hard time keeping the ball down in the zone," Houston manager Brad Mills said. "He's been throwing the ball so well and keeping it down in the zone. He's been effective. Today, I didn't see that."

Greene entered the game with eight hits in 18 games this season. Matheny wouldn't say if a day like Sunday's could propel him into being their regular second baseman.

"We certainly look forward to getting him back in the lineup," Matheny said. "You can't expect those kind of days every day."

His performance on Sunday, where he finished 3 for 3 with a walk, doubled the RBI total he had entering the game.

Carlos Lee and Jed Lowrie hit consecutive singles in the fourth inning before Travis Buck grounded into a force out that left Lowrie out at second. A wild pitch allowed Lee to score to make it 6-1.

Greene walked and stole second base in the sixth inning before scoring on a two-out single by Rafael Furcal.

Matt Holliday walked in the first before Craig's two-out homer, which bounced high on the wall above the Crawford Boxes in left field, gave St. Louis a 2-0 lead.

The Cardinals added a run in the second on an RBI double by Greene to make it 3-0.

Carlos Beltran walked to start the third inning. He was out at second on a fielder's choice on a grounder by Holliday. Holliday, who tripped leaving the plate, reached second on an error by Jose Altuve. A double by Craig sent Holliday home to push the lead to 4-0.

Jay robbed pinch-hitter Justin Maxwell of a hit with a nifty catch while sliding to his knees near the wall in left center field in the fifth inning. Brian Bogusevic one-upped him in the seventh when he denied David Freese of a home run when he jumped and reached back into the stands in right field for the catch.

Houston's Jordan Schafer went 0 for 4 to end his streak of reaching safely in 25 straight games to start the season. The mark ties a franchise record which was also reached by Denis Menke in 1969.

Notes

St. Louis 1B Lance Berkman, on the 15-day disabled list with a pulled left calf, experienced some discomfort when he ran on Friday, but felt better when he ran again on Sunday. "I want to get to where I can't even feel it at all and it's not there yet," he said. "But it's a marked improvement over two days ago. I'm going to try to run again (Monday) and try to push it a little bit more." ... Sunday was Altuve's 22nd birthday.

 
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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Players of the Game
St. Louis

T. Greene
AB 3
R 3
H 3
HR 2
RBI 4
St. Louis

A. Wainwright
IP 7.0
H 7
ER 1
BB 1
K 7
 
St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Rafael Furcal, SS4011101 .330
Carlos Beltran, RF4020100 .281
Matt Holliday, LF3200204 .250
    Marc Rzepczynski, P0000000 .000
    Jason Motte, P0000000 .000
Allen Craig, 1B4123011 .375
   a- Matt Carpenter, PH-1B1000000 .263
David Freese, 3B4000131 .302
Yadier Molina, C4110002 .296
   b- Tony Cruz, PH-C1010000 .118
Jon Jay, CF5110012 .392
Tyler Greene, 2B3334100 .256
Adam Wainwright, P3000012 .083
   c- Shane Robinson, PH-LF1000010 .333
Totals37811867  
a-grounded out for Craig in the 9th
b-singled for Molina in the 9th
c-struck out for Wainwright in the 8th
Batting
2B - Allen Craig (3, Happ), Tyler Greene (2, Happ)
HR - Allen Craig (1, Happ), Tyler Greene 2 (3, Happ, Abad)
RBI - Rafael Furcal (13), Allen Craig 3 (7), Tyler Greene 4 (8)
2-OUT RBI - Rafael Furcal (8), Allen Craig 2 (4)
SB - Tyler Greene (3, 2nd base off Del Rosario/Castro)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - T. Greene-Craig, Furcal-Craig
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Adam Wainwright (W,2-3) 7711170 5.61
Marc Rzepczynski 1100000 2.16
Jason Motte 1000000 2.79
WP - Adam Wainwright (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Adam Wainwright 103-68, Marc Rzepczynski 12-6, Jason Motte 9-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Adam Wainwright 8-4, Marc Rzepczynski 2-1, Jason Motte 1-2
Batters Faced - Adam Wainwright 27, Marc Rzepczynski 4, Jason Motte 3
Houston Astros
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jordan Schafer, CF4000011 .250
Jose Altuve, 2B4020010 .352
    Brandon Lyon, P0000000 .000
Brian Bogusevic, RF4000011 .212
Carlos Lee, 1B4120001 .289
Jed Lowrie, SS4010011 .333
Travis Buck, LF3010101 .297
Chris Johnson, 3B4010012 .304
Jason Castro, C3010013 .242
J.A. Happ, P1000010 .200
   a- Justin Maxwell, PH1000001 .290
    Enerio Del Rosario, P0000000 .000
   b- Matt Downs, PH1000001 .184
    Fernando Abad, P0000000 .000
    Marwin Gonzalez, 2B0000000 .220
Totals3318017  
a-flied out for Happ in the 5th
b-fouled out for Del Rosario in the 7th
Fielding
DP - Lowrie-Altuve-Lee
E - Jose Altuve (4, Throwing)
Houston Astros
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
J.A. Happ (L,2-2) 5665432 5.24
Enerio Del Rosario 2211110 4.50
Fernando Abad 1211111 7.71
Brandon Lyon 1100020 2.89
WP - Fernando Abad (1)
Pitches-Strikes - J.A. Happ 92-53, Enerio Del Rosario 38-18, Fernando Abad 25-13, Brandon Lyon 17-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J.A. Happ 7-4, Enerio Del Rosario 2-3, Fernando Abad 1-1, Brandon Lyon 1-0
Batters Faced - J.A. Happ 24, Enerio Del Rosario 9, Fernando Abad 6, Brandon Lyon 4
Game Information
Attendance - 22288
Game Time - 2:47
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Jerry Meals, First Base - Lance Barrett, Second Base - Paul Emmel, Third Base - Scott Barry