Norris leads Astros past Cardinals -

Norris leads Astros past Cardinals

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Bud Norris pitched seven sharp innings in his first major league start, leading the Houston Astros to a 2-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday.

Norris was working on a no-hitter before pitcher Adam Wainwright led off the sixth with a single to center. Norris (1-0) gave up just two hits, walked four and struck out five while subbing for Roy Oswalt, who missed his turn with lower back discomfort.

Wainwright (12-7) allowed two runs over seven innings for the Cardinals, who won the first two games of the weekend series. Wainwright was trying to become the majors' second 13-game winner, joining Boston's Josh Beckett.

Houston went in front when Miguel Tejada drove in Kaz Matsui with an infield hit in the fourth. Matsui led off the inning with a double and advanced to third on Hunter Pence's single.

Michael Bourn gave the Astros a 2-0 lead with a two-out RBI double in the seventh.

Houston closer Jose Valverde came in to face Albert Pujols after pinch-hitter Ryan Ludwick singled with one out in the eighth. On a 3-2 pitch, Pujols struck out and Ludwick was cut down by Ivan Rodriguez while trying to steal second.

Valverde then worked the ninth for his 12th save in 16 chances.

Pujols went 5 for 27 (.190) with one RBI on St. Louis' seven-game homestand. Matt Holliday went hitless Sunday for the first time since being traded to the Cardinals on July 24th.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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