HOUSTON (AP) -- Mark DeRosa homered twice at Minute Maid Park for the second time this season and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Astros 7-3 on Monday night, a few hours after Houston fired manager Cecil Cooper.
Third-base coach Dave Clark was named Houston's interim manager for the last two weeks of the regular season, but the Astros lost their eighth straight game in Clark's major-league managing debut.
DeRosa also had a two-run double for the Cardinals, who reduced their magic number for winning the NL Central to three.
Kyle Lohse (6-8) allowed three runs and five hits in six innings to earn his first win since Aug. 10.
Houston starter Wandy Rodriguez (13-11) had given up no more than one run in 11 of his previous 14 starts, but trailed 3-0 after the first inning in this one.
Albert Pujols doubled to right center with two outs and scored on Matt Holliday's single to left. Ryan Ludwick singled and DeRosa drove in two with a double off the right-field wall. Ludwick beat the throw home, but DeRosa was tagged out trying to stretch his hit to a triple.
Miguel Tejada homered off Lohse in the bottom of the first, his 12th of the season.
Jason LaRue and Skip Schumaker led off the second with singles and LaRue scored on Julio Lugo's fly ball to right. Brendan Ryan beat out an infield single and Schumaker scored for a 5-1 lead.
DeRosa homered to left in the third off Rodriguez, who came in with a 1.58 ERA at home this season.
Lohse retired nine straight before Lance Berkman's one-out single in the fourth, but Carlos Lee grounded into a double play.
Geoff Blum doubled in the fifth and scored on Humberto Quintero's one-out single to left. Lohse struck out Houston's next two hitters to end another quick inning.
Chad Paronto relieved Rodriguez for the sixth and DeRosa led off with a homer to left.
DeRosa hit two homers at Minute Maid Park on July 21, one off Rodriguez, in an 11-6 Houston win. The third baseman has 10 homers since the Cardinals acquired him from Cleveland on June 27.
Berkman homered to left-center in the sixth, his 23rd of the season and fifth in the last 10 games.
The Cardinals' bullpen gave up only one hit over the last three innings.
NOTES: DeRosa has four multihomer games in his career. ... Rodriguez lost for the first time in his last six starts at home. ... Al Pedrique, the Astros' minor-league field coordinator, replaced Clark as Houston's third-base coach. ... St. Louis IF Troy Glaus did not travel with the team to Houston. Glaus pulled an oblique muscle on a swing nine days ago.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)