for this game

Oswalt celebrates at the Cardinals' expense

Aug 30, 2007 - 4:44 AM By Gene Duffey PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

HOUSTON (Ticker) - Houston Astros righthander Roy Oswalt turned 30 Wednesday and turned back the charging St. Louis Cardinals.

Oswalt pitched seven innings, allowing only four hits and striking out nine, and Lance Berkman doubled and homered to lead the Astros to a 7-0 victory.

Oswalt (14-6) is 6-0 in his last seven starts and hasn't lost since falling to the Chicago Cubs July 14. He threw 99 pitches and didn't walk anyone.

"My slow curve was working," Oswalt said. "Guys were taking pitches off me, trying to get my pitch count up. I was able to get ahead of a lot of hitters and throw some pitches outside the strike zone (they swung at)."

Oswalt missed his last start with a strained oblique muscle.

"I was a little worried going into the game with the oblique," he said. "I tried to take it easy the first few innings. After the fourth inning I let it go."

Rick Ankiel managed one of the four hits off Oswalt, a bloop single in the first inning.

"He had good stuff tonight," Ankiel said of Oswalt. "It was just electric. You just hope he makes a mistake."

Oswalt helped Houston interim manager Cecil Cooper, who replaced the fired Phil Garner on Monday, collect his first win in the majors. The Astros lost Cooper's debut, 7-0, Tuesday night.

Catcher Brad Ausmus presented Cooper with a game ball after the victory.

"I will save it," Cooper said. "It's pretty special. My job was pretty easy tonight. I had the best pitcher on the planet. Anytime Roy takes the mound you've got a great chance to win. His fastball had a lot of life. He was throwing 94 in the seventh."

St. Louis, which moved into second place in the NL Central ahead of Milwaukee on Tuesday, had its three-game winning streak snapped. The Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs Wednesday night, moving ahead of St. Louis again.

The Cardinals (64-65), who slipped a game under .500, remain only two games behind first place Chicago (67-64).

Berkman hit his 25th homer to lead off the bottom of the third inning and give the Astros a 4-0 lead against St. Louis starter and Houston native Kip Wells (6-15). It was the 250th homer of Berkman's career, the ninth switch hitter all-time to reach that number.

"I'm sure he's glad to get it out of the way," Berkman said of Cooper's first win. "Anytime you get Roy the lead early it's going to be tough on the team."

Berkman, hitting better the last couple of weeks, raised his average to .278 with a 3-for-5 game.

"I can't explain why I struggled early in the season," he said. "I can't explain why I'm hitting better now. It's just the nature of the sport."

"He's not chasing a lot of bad pitches," Cooper said. "When he uses the whole field, he's a pretty special hitter."

Berkman doubled home Craig Biggio with the first run of the game in the first inning. Luke Scott opened the bottom of the second with a leadoff homer, his 15th. One out later Brad Ausmus tripled to left center.

Oswalt made it 3-0 when he lined a single to right to score Ausmus for his second RBI of the season. Biggio doubled to lead off the last of the seventh, the 665th of his career, tying George Brett for fifth all-time.

"Tying George Brett, I know him, I played against him, as a kid I saw him hit a home run at Yankee Stadium, he has a certain charisma about him," Biggio said.

Wells, who pitched at Baylor, gave up five runs on nine hits in six-plus innings.

"My goal was to go out there and get ahead and get more of the plate with pitches early on," Wells said. "For the most part, I did that. I gave up two home runs to hitters where I was ahead in the count. I just made mistakes with hittable pitches and they cashed in on them."

"The first five or six guys that got hits, he was ahead in the count," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "His put-away pitch was a mistake and paid for it. Then, he got it together and actually did a good job of saving us."








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

    BATTERIES: STL - KIP WELLS, TYLER JOHNSON (7TH), RANDY FLORES (8TH) AND YADIER
    MOLINA, GARY BENNETT (8TH)
    HOU - ROY OSWALT, CHAD QUALLS (8TH), TREVER MILLER
    (9TH) AND BRAD AU

    Aug 29 10:48 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY ERIC BRUNTLETT SCORED BRAD AUSMUS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, E BRUNTLETT ON FIRST, C BURKE ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 0
    HOUSTON 7 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: L BERKMAN (.278, 3-FOR-4, HR, 2 RBI)

    Cardinals vs. AstrosAug 29 10:39 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY HUNTER PENCE SCORED TY WIGGINTON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, H PENCE ON FIRST, C BURKE ON SECOND, B
    AUSMUS ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 0
    HOUSTON 6 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C QUALLS (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Cardinals vs. AstrosAug 29 10:36 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CARLOS LEE SCORED CRAIG BIGGIO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C LEE ON FIRST, L BERKMAN ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 0
    HOUSTON 5 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M LORETTA (.279, 1-FOR-3)

    Cardinals vs. AstrosAug 29 10:22 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY LANCE BERKMAN (25) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF KIP WELLS.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 0, HOUSTON 4
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C LEE (.304, 0-FOR-1)

    Cardinals vs. AstrosAug 29 8:58 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ROY OSWALT SCORED BRAD AUSMUS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, R OSWALT ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 0
    HOUSTON 3 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: H PENCE (.323, 1-FOR-1)

    Cardinals vs. AstrosAug 29 8:42 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY LUKE SCOTT (15) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    2ND OFF KIP WELLS.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 0, HOUSTON 2
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: T WIGGINTON (.269, 3 HR, 9 RBI)

    Cardinals vs. AstrosAug 29 8:34 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY LANCE BERKMAN SCORED CRAIG BIGGIO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, L BERKMAN ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 0
    HOUSTON 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C LEE (.305, 26 HR, 102 RBI)

    Cardinals vs. AstrosAug 29 8:19 PM