for this game

Lee, Astros end road struggles with rout of Cards

May 5, 2007 - 10:04 PM ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- Carlos Lee and the Houston Astros were not going to allow Kip Wells to end his struggles against them.

Lee's three-run double highlighted a five-run fifth inning as Houston rolled to a 13-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in the middle game of a weekend series on Saturday.

Luke Scott added a pair of RBI doubles and Lance Berkman knocked in two runs for the Astros, who snapped a seven-game road losing streak.

Dropping a 3-2 decision in the Cardinals' first home game since the fatal accident of Josh Hancock last Sunday, the Astros wasted no time getting to Wells (1-6), who was chased from the game in the fifth inning en route to his fifth straight loss.

Signed to a one-year, $4 million contract in the offseason, Wells' tenure with St. Louis has been disappointing. The righthander had given up seven earned runs in each of his previous two starts and his latest proved no better.

"When things aren't going good, they just seem to snowball," Wells said. "There were a couple of pitches that I could have used that would have maybe helped me get out of some of the jams that I was in and just didn't overcome that. It's frustrating and it's something you have to deal with if you are going to get better."

The continued struggles of Wells came on the same day when the Cardinals announced that injured ace Chris Carpenter will undergo arthroscopic surgery next week, sidelining him for another three months.

"That's a huge hit," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said. "That's part of the game and part of baseball. Our goal now is to be in contention when he gets back."

Wells surrendered three straight singles to start the game, including one to Berkman that plated Morgan Ensberg. In the fourth, Houston doubled the lead at 2-0 on the first of the two run-scoring doubles by Scott.

Wells was his own worst enemy in the fifth, issuing three walks around an RBI single by Mark Loretta to load the bases.

The run-scoring hit was one of a season high-tying four for Loretta.

"He (Wells) has good stuff but what got him in trouble was his control," Loretta said. "He walked a lot of guys and that's what hurt him. It was his command that let him down today."

Lee, who entered the day tied for fourth in the National League with 25 RBI, then ripped the first pitch to right field for a 6-0 lead, chasing Wells. Even with Tyler Johnson on the mound, Scott ripped another double, scoring Lee for the commanding 7-0 lead.

That support was more than enough for rookie starter Matt Albers (1-1), who yielded three hits and a walk in 7 1/3 innings en route to his first career win.

"I just wanted to come in today and throw strikes," Albers said. "My changeup was working pretty well against the lefties, just trying to keep it down.

"Definitely that five-spot in the fifth helped out a lot. I just took a deep breath and just kept doing what I was doing. I just tried to stick with my game plan. It's good to bounce back from my last outing that didn't quite go my way. Trust my stuff."

Bumped up in the rotation after Chris Sampson missed his start on Friday night with a sinus infection, the righthanded Albers did not allow a hit until the fourth and struck out two.

"He did the things you like to see any pitcher do but particularly a young pitcher," Astros manager Phil Garner. "He threw strikes, kept the ball over the plate and changed speeds well today. He had a nice changeup today and got a lot of quick outs."

Rookie Hunter Pence, who had his contract purchased from Class AAA Round Rock last Saturday, continued the onslaught in the eighth with his first career home run - a grand slam - off Dennis Dove.

"I was very excited and happy that I got it over with," Pence said. "It happened so fast. I really didn't get a chance to do anything but smile and say 'alright, sweet'."

Albert Pujols went 0-of-4 with a strikeout for the Cardinals, who have been outscored 51-10 in losing six of their last seven games.

"They hit better and pitched better," La Russa said. "It wasn't much of a game. We need to focus better."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    HOUSTON 1 0 0 1 5 2 0 4 0 13 14 0
    ST LOUIS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 2 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: HOU - MATT ALBERS, TREVER MILLER (8TH), DAVE BORKOWSKI (9TH) AND
    BRAD AUSMUS, HUMBERTO QUINTERO (8TH)
    STL - KIP WELLS, TYLER JOHNSON (5TH), KELVIN JIMENEZ
    (6TH), D

    May 5 3:55 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    GRAND SLAM BY HUNTER PENCE (1) TO CENTER WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    8TH OFF DENNIS DOVE SCORED CHRIS BURKE, ORLANDO PALMEIRO AND LUKE
    SCOTT.
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 13, ST LOUIS 0
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: A EVERETT (.194, 0-FOR-4)

    Astros vs. CardinalsMay 5 3:37 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY LANCE BERKMAN SCORED MORGAN ENSBERG.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, L BERKMAN ON FIRST, M LORETTA ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 9
    ST LOUIS 0 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C LEE (.286, 1-FOR-2, BB, 3 RBI)

    Astros vs. CardinalsMay 5 2:56 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MORGAN ENSBERG SCORED BRAD AUSMUS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M ENSBERG ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 8
    ST LOUIS 0 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M LORETTA (.367, 2-FOR-3, RBI)

    Astros vs. CardinalsMay 5 2:52 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY LUKE SCOTT SCORED CARLOS LEE.
    SITUATION: 5 RUNS IN, L SCOTT ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 7
    ST LOUIS 0 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: H PENCE (.240, 0-FOR-2)

    Astros vs. CardinalsMay 5 2:33 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CARLOS LEE SCORED MORGAN ENSBERG, MARK LORETTA
    AND LANCE BERKMAN.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, C LEE ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 6
    ST LOUIS 0 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: L SCOTT (.230, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Astros vs. CardinalsMay 5 2:30 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARK LORETTA SCORED BRAD AUSMUS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M LORETTA ON FIRST, M ENSBERG ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 3
    ST LOUIS 0 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: L BERKMAN (.271, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Astros vs. CardinalsMay 5 2:25 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY LUKE SCOTT SCORED CARLOS LEE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, L SCOTT ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: HOUSTON 2
    ST LOUIS 0 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: H PENCE (.250, 0-FOR-1)

    Astros vs. CardinalsMay 5 2:06 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    HOUSTON 1 1 3 0
    ST LOUIS 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: HOU - MATT ALBERS
    STL - KIP WELLS

    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: S SPIEZIO (.224, 0 HR, 5 RBI)
    C DUNCAN (.323, 5 HR, 11 RBI)
    A PUJOLS (.284, 6 HR, 17 RBI)

    Astros vs. CardinalsMay 5 1:24 PM