Astros beat Cardinals 3-2 -

Astros beat Cardinals 3-2

HOUSTON (AP) -- Carlos Lee's three-run homer lifted the Houston Astros to a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night.

Houston was trailing 2-0 when Lee followed Miguel Tejada's single and a walk by Lance Berkman with a shot to deep left field in the fourth inning.

It was the first game of a three-game series between NL Central foes and key for a Houston team looking to gain ground on the division leading Cardinals.

Brian Moehler (7-5) allowed six hits and two runs with five strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings to improve his perfect career record against the Cardinals to 5-0.

LaTroy Hawkins gave up two hits in the eighth before closer Jose Valverde pitched a scoreless ninth for his 10th save.

Yadier Molina singled in a pair of runs in the fourth to put St. Louis ahead 2-0. That hit came after a single by Ryan Ludwick and a double by Rick Ankiel.

Berkman had a double and scored a run in his return to the lineup after missing three games with a left calf strain. He said before the game that he was still sore but that he felt good enough to play. His leg still appeared a bit tender as he trotted from first to second on his double.

Skip Schumaker was given a ground-rule double with one out in the fifth inning when a fan reached down the wall from his seat in the Crawford Boxes in left field to catch his hit. Lee was miffed by the move and raised his hands in frustration before turning toward the area where the fan was.

Tejada made a nifty diving catch for the second out before the Astros intentionally walked Albert Pujols. It was his 34th intentional walk of the season, tying the team record he set last year.

Houston got out of the inning when Michael Bourn dashed up the hill in center field to grab a long fly by Ludwick.

Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse (4-6) took the loss in his second game back from the disabled list. He allowed five hits and three runs in seven innings. He struck out five and walked two.

NOTES: Astros C Ivan Rodriguez changed his number from 12 to 77 on Monday. Rodriguez has worn No. 7 for the majority of his career, but had to choose another number when he signed with Houston because No. 7 is retired in Houston for Craig Biggio. He decided if he couldn't wear one 7 he'd wear two. "I was missing my number," Rodriguez said. "Seven is a lucky number. Everybody knows me for No. 7." ... The Astros wore caps adorned with the Apollo 11 patch on Monday to commemorate the 40th anniversary of man's first landing on the moon. The night also featured astronaut Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger singing the national anthem and a message from an astronaut on the international space station that was played on the video board.

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

Powered by Frankly