Wainwright continues mastery of Astros


St. Louis hurler Adam Wainwright picked up his 12th win of the year Tuesday with a 7-0 shutout of the Astros. Wainwright is now 12-1 in 14 career starts against Houston. The Astros managed only five hits, two of which came in the ninth inning. Wainwright struck out twelve and needed only 105 pitches to get through nine innings. St. Louis got things rolling early against Astros starter Lucas Harrell, scoring four runs in the first inning. Harrell had been on a hot streak of his own, holding his opponent to two runs or less in seven consecutive starts.

Harrell and the Astros suffered through some tough luck early in this game, as 39-83 teams are apt to do. The Cardinals tallied their first run when Harrell was called for a balk. The second run scored on a broken bat blooper by Yadier Molina. The Cardinals plated two more runs on a ground ball that may have resulted in an inning-ending double play if Jose Altuve wasn’t the shortest player in the league. Skip Schumaker picked up a pair of RBIs when his grounder bounced off Altuve’s glove and dribbled into shallow rightfield.

The Astros had a couple of good swings against Wainwright in the top of the second but came up empty. Justin Maxwell hit a rope deep down the rightfield line that landed just foul. Ben Francisco also made a bid for extra bases with a deep fly ball that was tracked down by John Jay in right-center. Unable to answer the Cardinals crooked number, the Astros would go quietly into the St. Louis night. Houston failed to advance a runner as far as third base until the ninth inning and the team has only scored once in two games under interim manager Tony DeFrancesco.

The Astros will try again Wednesday to get DeFrancesco his first win as a big league skipper. Bud Norris (5-10) goes against Kyle Lohse (12-2) at 7:15 CDT. Norris is on a career worst nine game losing streak but has pitched well against St. Louis in his career. Norris is 7-3 with a 2.47 ERA in 12 career starts against the Cardinals.