HOUSTON (AP) -- Wandy Rodriguez pitched seven innings and three relievers completed the three-hit shutout as the Houston Astros again beat the slumping St. Louis Cardinals, 3-0 on Tuesday night.
Hunter Pence drove in two runs in Houston's three-run fourth inning.
The Cardinals were shut out for the second straight game after J.A. Happ threw a two-hitter in a 3-0 win on Monday. They have dropped four straight, seven of their last eight and are seven games behind Cincinnati in the NL Central.
Tim Byrdak replaced Rodriguez (11-12) for the eighth inning, but was chased when he walked the first batter he faced. Wilton Lopez finished the eighth.
Brandon Lyon gave up a double to Matt Holliday in the ninth and walked Skip Schumaker with two outs, but pinch-hitter Randy Winn struck out to end the game and Lyon got his 10th save.
Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter (14-5) yielded six hits and three runs with two walks in seven innings.
Pence's two-run triple that landed just behind Colby Rasmus in center field made it 2-0 in the fourth inning. Michael Bourn reached to start the inning on an error by Schumaker when he couldn't handle Bourn's hard-hit grounder. Angel Sanchez followed with a single to set up Pence's hit.
Chris Johnson's line drive to right field later in the inning scored Pence and made it 3-0.
Rodriguez had some trouble in the first inning, walking Albert Pujols with two outs before he advanced to second on a wild pitch. He settled down to retire 10 of the next 11 batters. He walked former Astro Pedro Feliz with two outs in the fourth and the Cardinals wouldn't get another baserunner until Yadier Molina reached on an error by Johnson to start the seventh inning. Rodriguez struck out Feliz before Schumaker and Brendan Ryan both grounded into forceouts to end the inning.
Rodriguez struck out five for his 62nd career win to move past Jim Deshaies and into third place in franchise history for wins by a left-handed pitcher.
Jason Castro and Pence were both tagged out at second trying to stretch singles into doubles.
NOTES: Cardinals RHP Jeff Suppan (groin) will come off the DL on Wednesday and is scheduled to start. It will be his first appearance since July 31. ... The Cardinals expect LHP Dennys Reyes (left elbow) to come off the DL on Wednesday. ... The Astros will recall OF/INF Brian Bogusevic, INF Matt Downs and LHP Wesley Wright from Triple-A Round Rock and RHP Henry Villar from Double-A Corpus to join the team on Wednesday. They will also purchase the contract of C Brian Esposito from Round Rock. ... Houston reliever Matt Lindstrom (back strain) pitched a scoreless inning in his first rehabilitation start for Corpus Christi on Tuesday. ... IF Jeff Keppinger (toe) has returned to Houston after his rehabilitation assignment and is eligible to come off the DL on Wednesday.
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