St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols watches his solo home during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros on Monday, Aug. 2, 2010, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) By Jeff Roberson
St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina catches a foul ball hit by Houston Astros' Hunter Pence at the backstop for an out during the eighth inning of a baseball game Monday, Aug. 2, 2010, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) By Jeff Roberson
St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jake Westbrook throws during the second inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros on Monday, Aug. 2, 2010, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) By Jeff Roberson
St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols, left, rounds the bases on a solo home run off Houston Astros starting pitcher Brett Myers, right, during the fourth inning of a baseball game Monday, Aug. 2, 2010, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) By Jeff Roberson
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Jeff Keppinger had two hits and four RBIs, including a key hit during a go-ahead three-run eighth inning, and the Houston Astros won their sixth straight to spoil Jake Westbrook's St. Louis debut with a 9-4 victory over the Cardinals on Monday night.
Albert Pujols homered for the third straight game and Westbrook worked six strong innings for St. Louis, which lost for only the second time in 13 home games. The Cardinals have lost four straight at home to Houston, falling a half-game behind the Reds in the NL Central.
Brett Myers extended his franchise-best streak to 22 consecutive starts of six or more innings to begin the season. Keppinger's RBI double off Mike MacDougal (1-1) tied it at 4 and Carlos Lee scored the go-ahead run by beating a wide throw home from second baseman Skip Schumaker on Chris Johnson's bases-loaded chopper.
Keppinger added a two-run single in a four-run ninth as the Astros batted around against Trever Miller and Blake Hawksworth. Keppinger is batting .433 (13 for 30) with a homer and 11 of his 40 RBIs against the Cardinals this season.
Nelson Figueroa (3-1) allowed an RBI double by Felipe Lopez that put the Cardinals ahead 4-2 in the seventh, but Jason Motte walked Michael Bourn and Anderson Hernandez on 10 pitches to open the eighth, and both scored.
Pujols tied it at 2 leading off the third with a liner into the visitors' bullpen in left for his 26th homer of the season and the 392nd of his career, the most in a player's first 10 seasons in major league history. He's batting .417 against the Astros with three homers and 11 RBIs, and is a career .366 hitter against Myers, also with three homers and 11 RBIs.
Westbrook made his first start in a week and had seven strikeouts, one off his season best, and kept the ball down to limit Houston to one flyball out. The Cardinals acquired Westbrook for outfielder Ryan Ludwick in a three-way deal with the Indians and Astros.
Rookie Brett Wallace, who was the Cardinals' first-round draft pick in 2008, lined a single off Westbrook's leg for his first RBI against his old team. Working with a one-run lead, Westbrook struck out Wallace with two men on to end the sixth.
NOTES: Houston is 5-2 at Busch Stadium this season. ... Pujols is one homer behind the Reds' Joey Votto for the NL lead. ... Westbrook has worked five or more innings in 10 straight starts. ... Cardinals C Yadier Molina reached into the stands behind the plate to snare Hunter Pence's pop-up in the eighth. ... Myers matched his season worst with four walks, two of them to Matt Holliday. ... The Astros have outscored opponents 39-8 during their winning streak, their best since another six-game run in September 2008. ... Keppinger is batting .400 his last 12 games.
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