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Cardinals clobber Astros

Jul 26, 2011 - 6:41 AM St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Yadier Molina went 3-for-4 with a solo homer and knocked in two runs to help the St. Louis Cardinals take a 10-5 victory over the Houston Astros to open a four-game set.

Colby Rasmus added a two-run homer and drove in three while Nick Punto went 2-for-3 with a triple, an RBI and run scored for the Cardinals, who have won four of five.

Kyle McClellan (7-6) benefited from the run support to win for the first time since May 19 against Houston. He had gone 0-5 in eight games since his last win and was able to grab the victory on Monday thanks to a one-run outing in which he gave up six hits with no walks and five strikeouts over seven innings.

"You just try to keep your mind set the same all the time whether you're winning or losing," said McClellan. "You just have to go about your business the same way and at the end of the year it is what it is."

St. Louis and Pittsburgh, which the Cards took two of three from over the weekend, remain in a virtual tie for first place in the NL Central as the Pirates defeated the Braves on Monday.

Carlos Lee hit a grand slam while Humberto Quintero drove in the other run for the Astros, who have dropped their past four games. J.A. Happ (4-12) was coming off his first win in over two months with a defeat of Washington on July 19, but he once again failed to win consecutive starts this season after giving up six runs on seven hits with three walks over 4 2/3 innings.

"I'm felling good at the plate right now," said Lee. "I'm hitting the ball hard and am just trying to put some good swings on the ball. Finally I'm starting to get some good contact."

Houston rookie second baseman Jose Altuve went 3-for-4 with a run scored in the game to raise his batting average to .412. He has a hit in each of his first five games since being called up by the Astros last week with Monday's performance being his first multi-hit game.

Houston got on the board first in the second when Quintero singled home Altuve, who doubled ahead of Quintero, but the Cards took the lead for good in the bottom half of the frame.

With men on second and third, Rasmus grounded out to score David Freese and Punto followed with a run-scoring triple. McClellan then helped his cause with an RBI groundout for a 3-1 lead.

Molina led off the fourth with a homer into the Astros' bullpen in left field.

In the fifth, Molina singled home two runners and Rasmus followed with a blast deep into the seats in right field for an 8-1 advantage.

The Astros made a game of it in the eighth when the team loaded the bases on P.J. Walters, and Lee smacked a ball just fair inside the left-field pole to make it an 8-5 game.

The Cardinals, though, put the game away in the bottom of the eighth on RBI singles from Skip Schumaker and Jon Jay.

Game Notes

The Cardinals have taken seven of the nine games against the Astros this season...McClellan is 3-2 over 20 career meetings against the Astros, three of which have been starts...Happ fell to 1-6 over eight starts against the Cardinals in his career...St. Louis batted 5-for-10 with runners in scoring position...It was the 16th grand slam of Lee's career.

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    Astros 5, Cardinals 10  FinalJul 27 6:34 PM

  • HOUSTON: 5
    ST. LOUIS: 10

    Jul 25 11:11 PM

  • Jon Jay singled to short scored Nick Punto. On the play, Skip Schumaker advances to second. Runners on first and second with two outs and Albert Pujols due up.

    Astros 5, Cardinals 10  Bot 8, 2 OutsJul 25 11:02 PM

  • Skip Schumaker singled to left scored Colby Rasmus. On the play, Nick Punto advances to second. Runners on first and second with one out and Ryan Theriot due up.

    Astros 5, Cardinals 9  Bot 8, 1 OutJul 25 10:59 PM

  • Mitchell Boggs enters the game for the Cardinals.

    Astros 5, Cardinals 8  Top 8, 1 OutJul 25 10:43 PM

  • Nick Punto grounded out first to pitcher to end the inning.

    Astros 1, Cardinals 8  End 5Jul 25 9:57 PM

  • Yadier Molina singled to left scored Matt Holliday and Daniel Descalso, advances to second on Jason Bourgeois's fielding error. Runner on second with two outs and Colby Rasmus due up.

    Astros 1, Cardinals 6  Bot 5, 2 OutsJul 25 9:55 PM

  • Yadier Molina lead-off Home Run (8) to left. Colby Rasmus due up.

    Astros 1, Cardinals 4  Bot 4, 0 OutsJul 25 9:22 PM

  • Kyle McClellan grounded out second to first scored Nick Punto. None on with two outs and Ryan Theriot due up.

    Astros 1, Cardinals 3  Bot 2, 2 OutsJul 25 8:50 PM

  • Nick Punto tripled to right scored Yadier Molina. Runner on third with one out and Kyle McClellan due up.

    Astros 1, Cardinals 2  Bot 2, 1 OutJul 25 8:48 PM
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    Astros 1, Cardinals 2  Bot 2, 1 OutJul 25 8:48 PM

  • Colby Rasmus grounded out second to first scored David Freese. On the play, Yadier Molina advances to third. Runner on third with one out and Nick Punto due up.

    Astros 1, Cardinals 1  Bot 2, 1 OutJul 25 8:46 PM

  • Humberto Quintero singled to center scored Jose Altuve. Runner on first with two outs and J.A. Happ due up.

    Astros 1, Cardinals 0  Top 2, 2 OutsJul 25 8:36 PM

  • HOUSTON: 0
    ST. LOUIS: 0
    Top 1, 0 Outs

    Jul 25 8:15 PM
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    Astros vs. CardinalsJul 25 12:46 PM
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    Astros vs. CardinalsJun 10 6:01 AM