Astros drop sixth straight


Cardinals 4 Astros 2

The Astros struggles continued Wednesday night in St. Louis. Interim manager Tony DeFrancesco fell to 0-3 since taking over for Brad Millsas the Astros lost their sixth game in a row. Bud Norris posted a quality start, allowing three runs in six innings of work. But the Astros couldn’t provide enough offense to keep Norris out of the loss column. Bud dropped his tenth straight decision and is now 5-11 on the year.

For the Cardinals, Kyle Lohse picked up his 13th win with seven innings of three-hit baseball. Lohse allowed solo homers to Brett Wallace and Chris Snyder, each of which gave Houston a one-run lead at the time. Jose Altuve‘s 31st double of the season was the only other hit the struggling Astros offense could muster.

St. Louis used some heads-up base running to take the lead in the fifth inning. A good jump off second base enabled Rafael Furcal to score the tying run on a John Jay single to rightfield. Jay continued to second when Steve Pearce‘s threw to the plate air-mailed the cutoff man. After advancing to third on a groundout, Jay dashed home on a wild pitch that bounced only a few feet away from Snyder behind the plate.

The Cardinals added an insurance run in the eighth. Fernando Rodriguez relieved Wesley Wright after Wright retired Matt Carpenter on a grounder to start the inning. Rodriguez was unable to get the final two outs before elevating a couple of pitches and allowing the Cardinals to plate their fourth run of the night.

Jason Motte came in and shut the door on the Astros with a 1-2-3 ninth, earning his 29th save of the year.

Dallas Keuchel (1-5) goes against Jake Westbrook (12-9) at 12:45 CDT Thursday as the Astros try to avoid the sweep.

Prior to the game Armando Galarraga was designated for assignment and the Astros called up right-handed reliever Hector Ambriz from Oklahoma City. DeFrancesco said he wanted another power arm in the bullpen. Ambriz threw 48 & 1/3 big league innings for Cleveland in 2010, averaging 93 m.p.h. with his fastball. Galarraga’s exit means the Astros will need to find a starter for Saturday’s game against the Mets.