St. Louis(16-10) at Houston(12-14)
Flashchat Link: http://www.gatewayredbirds.com/forum/chat/flashchat.phpMay 5, 2012
7:05 PM ET, 6:05 PM CT, 5:05 PM MT, 4:05 PM PT
Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas
TV: FSMW, FSH
RADIO: KMOX 1120
J. García (2-1, 2.78) B. Norris (1-1, 5.46)
Link for entire article: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/cardinals- ... --mlb.html
The Houston Astros are on the verge of their longest winning streak at Minute Maid Park in almost two years.
Jose Altuve has been a big reason for that success.
The Astros seek their fifth straight win overall and sixth in a row at home Saturday night in the middle game of this series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Bud Norris (1-1, 5.46 ERA) will try to keep the Astros rolling and continue his strong pitching versus St. Louis. The right-hander is 6-2 with a 2.37 ERA in 10 career starts against the Cardinals, compiling a 1.95 ERA while going 2-1 in four at home.The Series:
Norris, though, is 1-5 with a 4.87 ERA in 11 starts at home overall since allowing one run and one hit in eight innings of a win over the Cardinals at Minute Maid Park on June 8.
He tossed six scoreless innings Monday against the New York Mets before allowing three runs and getting pulled with two outs in the seventh. Norris, who left without a decision in a 4-3 win, has allowed at least three runs in one inning over each of the last four starts.
"The whole inning was a tough inning," Norris told the team's official website. "That's what you're supposed to do as a pitcher is get through those innings. Unfortunately, I've felt in a couple of starts this year I haven't been able to get that extra pitch to get out of that jam."
The Cardinals are scheduled to counter with Jaime Garcia (2-1, 2.78), who is still searching for his first win against the Astros.
The left-hander is 0-3 with a 6.39 ERA in five career starts against Houston, with all of them resulting in Cardinals losses, including all three at Minute Maid Park.
Garcia enters this game looking to rebound from his first loss. He gave up three runs - all in the sixth - and nine hits over seven innings in a 3-2 defeat to Milwaukee on Monday.
Garcia is 2-0 with a 3.40 ERA in his last nine road starts despite allowing opponents to hit .314 during that span.
St. Louis' Jon Jay is 14 for 27 with four RBIs in the past seven games, raising his average to .414. He has a .351 average in his past nine matchups with Houston.
Houston leads season series 1-0
May 4, 2012-Houston 5, St. Louis 4
May 5, 2012-STL (Garcia) @ HOU (Norris) -7:05 PM CDT
May 6, 2012-STL (Wainwright) @ HOU (Happ)-1:05 PM CDTMinute Maid Park, 501 Crawford St., Houston, Texas 77002Baseball Reference 2012 Cardinals Statistics2012 Current MLB Standings2012 Current MLB Wild Card Standings2012 Current MLB vs. Division Standings2012 Current MLB vs. Expanded Standings
Last Game:Houston 5, St. Louis 4
WP: L. Harrell (2-2) S: B. Myers (7)
LP: K. Lohse (4-1)
HR: HOU - J. Altuve (2)
Link for entire article: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/altuve-pro ... --mlb.htmlAltuve propels Astros to 5-4 win over Cardinals
By KRISTIE RIEKEN | The Associated Press
HOUSTON (AP) There was a particular pitch Jose Altuve was looking for after studying Kyle Lohse in preparation for Friday night's game.
When he saw that 90 mph, sinker barreling his way, he knew just what to do with it.
Altuve put the Houston Astros on top with a three-run homer in the second inning and they held on for a 5-4 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.
''I went out today with a plan and I was expecting that pitch,'' he said. ''He threw it and I hit it really good.''
The win is the fourth straight for the Astros and the second consecutive loss for the National League Central-leading Cardinals.
The game was tied at 2-2 before Altuve's shot, which a fan in the top row of the Crawford Boxes in left field caught, to give Houston a 5-2 lead.
''He has a nice short swing, and he's not missing too many pitches that catch too much of the plate, and he did it again tonight,'' St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said.
Houston starter Lucas Harrell (2-2) gave up seven hits and four runs in 5 1-3 innings. Closer Brett Myers allowed one hit in a scoreless ninth for his seventh save after three other relievers combined to pitch 2 2-3 scoreless innings.
Lohse (4-1), who started the season 4-0 for the first time in his career, had his worst outing of the season. He allowed seven hits and five runs - both season highs - in a season-low five innings. Three of his runs were earned the others came because of two errors by the Cardinals.
''He had trouble getting the ball down,'' Matheny said. ''He got balls in the air. This was a day that he just didn't have that down bite. When he is up in the zone, it is going to be a tough day for him.''
Lohse was unable to build on the success he had last season against the Astros when he was 2-0.
Jordan Schafer reached in the first inning on a fielding error by Matt Carpenter. Altuve followed with a single and the pair advanced on a double steal. A single by Carlos Lee scored Schafer before Jed Lowrie's single sent Altuve home to make it 2-1.
The Cardinals took a 1-0 lead in the first after Rafael Furcal singled and scored when Allen Craig reached on an error by Chris Johnson with two outs.
The miscues continued in the bottom of the second when Schafer reached on an error by Craig, the first baseman, after a single by Harrell. That set up Altuve's home run.
Carpenter walked with one out in the second inning and later scored on a balk by Harrell to tie it at 2-2.
Jon Jay singled and scored on a triple by Matt Holliday that landed near the bullpen in right center to get St. Louis within 5-3 in the third inning. Harrell was a bit shaken up after landing hard on his chest after diving to try and grab the hit by Jay. He was looked at by trainers and remained in the game.
Holliday scored on a sacrifice fly by Craig to cut the lead to 5-4.
''I thought I was good at the beginning of the game and then the balk really hurt me,'' Harrell said. ''Then in the third when the wind got knocked out of me, I didn't take enough time and when I got back up on the mound I kind of rushed and I should have taken a little bit more time.''
NOTES: St. Louis OF Carlos Beltran wasn't in the lineup Friday because of soreness in his right leg, but pinch-hit in the eighth inning. Matheny expects him to be back in the lineup on Saturday. ... Lance Berkman, on the 15-day disabled list with a pulled left calf, experienced some discomfort when he ran on Friday. Matheny said they'll let him rest on Saturday and possible try it again on Sunday to see if he feels better. ... Houston wore the shooting star jerseys the original Astros team wore in 1965 as they continued the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the franchise. Rusty Staub, who played for the Astros in 1965, threw out the first pitch.