St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols connects for an RBI double in the first inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Friday, July 9, 2010 in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan) By Pat Sullivan
St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Cody Rasmus snags the ball before it hits the ground for the out on Houston Astros' Jason Castro in the second inning of a baseball game Friday, July 9, 2010 in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan) By Pat Sullivan
Houston Astros' Michael Bourn reacts to being called out on an attempt to steal second base against the St. Louis Cardinals in the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 9, 2010 in Houston. St. Louis won 6-0. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan) By Pat Sullivan
St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Holliday hits a three-run homer in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Friday, July 9, 2010 in Houston. St. Louis won 8-0. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan) By Pat Sullivan
HOUSTON (AP) -- Adam Wainwright pitched eight scoreless innings and Matt Holliday hit a three-run homer to help the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Houston Astros 8-0 Friday night.
Albert Pujols drove in three runs and Kyle McClellan pitched a perfect ninth to complete the shutout for St. Louis and end a three-game skid.
Houston snapped a three-game winning streak and was shut out for the ninth time this season.
Wainwright (13-5) gave up six hits and struck out four to improve to 9-1 in his career against Houston.
Astros starter Bud Norris (2-6) gave up seven hits and five runs in 7 2-3 innings for his first career loss to the Cardinals. He entered the game 4-0 with a 0.35 ERA in four starts against St. Louis.
The Astros couldn't string anything together against Wainwright, and the best they did was get two runners on base in both the fourth and eighth innings. But Houston came up empty both times after Wainwright struck out Chris Johnson to end the fourth and Carlos Lee flew out in the eighth.
Holliday's homer, which bounced high off the wall in left field and chased Norris, came after he allowed a double to Colby Rasmus and intentionally walked Pujols with two outs in the eighth inning.
Pujols homered to left field with one on and two out in the ninth inning off Casey Daigle to stretch the lead to 8-0.
Rasmus also doubled in the first inning before scoring on a double by Pujols to make it 1-0. Tyler Greene added a double in the second inning and scored on a single by Skip Schumaker.
Norris got in a groove after the early runs, sailing through the next few innings, retiring 13 in a row after Schumaker's hit. He didn't allow another baserunner until a single by Jon Jay to start the seventh inning. Jay was left stranded when Norris retired the next three Cardinals to end the inning.
Michael Bourn singled on a bunt in the fifth inning but was caught trying to steal second base to end the inning. He got in the face of second base umpire Andy Fletcher and argued for a couple of minutes before manager Brad Mills came out and Bourn stalked off to his spot in center field.
Felipe Lopez had a run-scoring double in the ninth inning off Gustavo Chacin that made it 6-0 before the home run by Pujols.
NOTES: Rasmus left the game in the middle of the eighth inning with tightness in his right hamstring. ... Cardinals manager Tony La Russa could have trouble setting his rotation after the All-Star break if RHP Chris Carpenter and Wainwright both pitch in the game. Still, he said that he would never ask National League manager Charlie Manuel not to use either of his pitchers. He would, however, consider asking Manuel how he planned to use them so he could get an idea of how to set the rotation. ... Houston RHP Felipe Paulino, who is on the disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis, felt good on Friday, a day after throwing 30 pitches of live batting practice. He is scheduled to return to the rotation after the break.
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