for this game

Altuve helps Astros snap streak, down Cardinals

Jul 28, 2011 - 5:04 AM St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Jose Altuve knocked in the go-ahead run in the ninth inning to help the Astros snap a five-game losing streak with a 4-2 victory over the Cardinals.

Altuve finished with three hits, as did Jason Bourgeois, while Clint Barmes belted a two-run homer for Houston, which got six quality innings out of Bud Norris.

"I feel good at the plate and in the field. I just want to play hard," said Altuve, who has recorded at least one hit in all seven games since being brought up.

Fernando Rodriguez (2-0) threw two scoreless innings of relief behind Norris to earn the win, and Mark Melancon struck out Albert Pujols with runners on second and third to end the game.

Jon Jay and Yadier Molina each knocked in a run for the Cardinals, who had won five of six coming in.

St. Louis' Chris Carpenter gave up two runs on eight hits before getting pulled for Mitchell Boggs to start the eighth.

Boggs (0-3) got pinch-hitter Hunter Pence to hit into a double play with the bases loaded to end the eighth, but ran into more problems in the ninth.

With runners on first and second and two outs, Altuve singled up the middle to knock in Carlos Corporan. Jay's late throw from center hit the on-deck hitter, Bourgeois, standing near home plate, and the ball skidded away, allowing Michael Bourn to score as well.

Melancon gave up a walk and single to open the ninth, and a sacrifice bunt made it second and third with one out. Ryan Theriot went down swinging in front of Pujols, and the All-Star swung at a 2-2 pitch out of the strike zone to hand Melancon his ninth save of the season.

"We had some failure at executions and didn't win the game," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said bluntly.

Barmes' two-run shot in the second inning held up until Jay doubled in Matt Holliday in the fourth and Molina singled in Pujols in the sixth. Pujols would have easily been thrown out at the plate, but Corporan couldn't handle Bourn's one-hop throw from center.

Game Notes

The Cardinals and Blue Jays pulled off an eight-player trade Wednesday. The marquee names were starting pitching Edwin Jackson heading to St. Louis and outfielder Colby Rasmus ending up in Toronto...Carpenter ended with eight strikeouts to one walk...Norris was charged with two runs -- one earned -- on four hits over six innings...In Thursday's finale of the four-game series, the Astros will throw Wandy Rodriguez opposite fellow lefty Jaime Garcia.