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McClellan leads Cardinals past Houston

May 19, 2011 - 11:33 PM St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Gerald Laird had a two-run double to help back eight solid innings from Kyle McClellan, as the St. Louis Cardinals held on for a 4-2 win over Houston and completed a sweep of the brief two-game set at Busch Stadium.

Allen Craig went 3-for-4 with a solo home run for the Cardinals, who have won four in a row.

McClellan (6-1) gave up two runs on five hits and struck out five without issuing a walk. Fernando Salas threw a scoreless ninth to pick up his fifth save of the season.

"He looked the same in the first inning right through the game," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said of McClellan. "He didn't have a lot to work with as far as the lead, but [Houston] tried everything. They swung early and then they started taking. He was very consistent."

Carlos Lee had a sacrifice fly for Houston, which has lost five straight and has dropped 10 of its last 12 games overall. Humberto Quintero had two hits and scored the other Astros run on a wild pitch.

J.A. Happ (3-5) went six innings, allowing three runs on four hits, walked three and struck out eight.

"I felt good," Happ said. "The difference today was bad pitching with guys on base."

After the game was delayed 55 minutes by rain at the outset, St. Louis opened the scoring in the second.

Craig singled and Colby Rasmus walked to start the inning before Laird chased in both with a double to left.

Houston got one back in the fourth to make it a 2-1 game. Clint Barmes doubled with one away, advanced to third on a base hit by Hunter Pence and crossed the plate on Lee's sac fly to center.

Craig belted a shot to left leading off the sixth and the Cardinals added another in the seventh.

Daniel Descalso reached first on an error, went to second on bunt by McClellan and scored on Ryan Theriot's single.

Quintero led off the eighth with a base hit and made it to third with one away before scoring on a wild pitch by McClellan to make it 4-2.

Salas came on to work the ninth and surrendered a one-out single to Lee, but fanned the next two batters to secure the victory.

Game Notes

Cardinals outfielders Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman both missed the game after leaving Wednesday's contest early. Holliday experienced tightness in his left quadriceps in the third inning, while Berkman departed in the fifth with a jammed wrist after making a great diving catch in right field...Rasmus returned to the lineup after sitting out the last four games with an abdominal injury and went 1-for-3 with a walk and run scored...St. Louis won two of three meetings with Houston in late April, but the Astros are still 11-7 in the last 18 matchups between the clubs.