--RHP Ryan Franklin and LHP Trever Miller continue to struggle. Franklin, working in a non-stressful situation with a six-run lead in the eighth, allowed a double and a single to the only two hitters he faced, although LF Matt Holliday, who tried to make a sliding grab, said he should have caught Houston 2B Joe Inglett's liner. Miller hasn't retired any of the four hitters he has faced in his last four appearances, He walked left-handed-hitting CF Michael Bourn on a full-count pitch after having Bourn down 1-2.
"He's just not sharp," said manager Tony La Russa, who said he intends to use Miller again Thursday if the situation arose.
--2B Nick Punto, who had no spring training because of an operation to repair a sports hernia, played stellar defense and contributed two hits. "I'm getting more comfortable every night," Punto said.
--SS Ryan Theriot sat out for a second straight night with a tug in his right rib-cage area. Theriot said he would be able to play Thursday, but Tyler Greene has filled in well, hitting his first home run and adding a single Wednesday.
--RF Lance Berkman, returning to Houston, where he starred for a decade, had his second consecutive two-hit night at Minute Maid Park, and he made an outstanding running catch near the right field foul line. But, playing in for spray-hitting SS Angel Sanchez, Berkman allowed a double to be hit over his head in the ninth inning, keeping the game alive. Berkman has had six straight multi-hit games and has 11 for the season, tops in the league.
BY THE NUMBERS
6 -- Hits by former Cardinals first-round draft pick Brett Wallace, the Houston first baseman, in the first two games of the series.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"I thought he'd get three outs. It didn't work out that way." -- Manager Tony La Russa, on struggling RHP Ryan Franklin, whom La Russa lifted after Franklin gave up hits to the first two men he faced in the eighth while working with a six-run lead.
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