for this game

Tejada's blast lifts Astros over Cardinals

Apr 8, 2008 - 2:31 AM By Jeremy Rakes PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Miguel Tejada saved the day in the Houston Astros' home opener.

After making a great defensive play to end the St. Louis Cardinals' rally in the top of the ninth inning, Tejada homered off Kyle McClellan in the bottom half to send the Astros to a 5-3 victory on Monday.

Carlos Lee led off the ninth with a single up the middle off McClellan (0-1) and Tejada followed with a shot down the right field line - his second home run as a member of the Astros - to end it.

"For me, I didn't have in my mind that the game was going to end like that because we were winning 3-0 going into the ninth," Tejada said. "It was really exciting, but even if we won 3-0, it would have been exciting for me. I didn't think they would come back in the ninth, but when they did I said I wanted to do something for the team."

The blast snapped the Cardinals' five-game winning streak.

"It was a tough loss, but an exciting game to be a part of," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said. "We both played well but they had the last hero. I have total confidence in (McClellan), sometimes you've got to give the hitter credit."

Trailing, 3-0, St. Louis had evened the contest in the ninth off Astros closer Jose Valverde. Aaron Miles led off the inning with a single up the middle and Cesar Izturis followed with a walk.

Valverde (2-0) struck out Rick Ankiel and induced Albert Pujols into a long flyout to the left field warning track, but Troy Glaus stroked an RBI single through the left side to make the score 3-1.

Ryan Ludwick then tied the game with a two-run double to right-center field and, after a Chris Duncan intentional walk, Valverde got out of the inning when Tejada made a diving stop up the middle - tossing the ball to second baseman Mark Loretta to get the forceout.

"I didn't have too much control of my fastball," Valverde said. "I had a little bit, but not like I had in spring training and San Diego. I feel bad for Wandy (Rodriguez) because he threw seven good innings."

The contest was scoreless heading into the bottom of the seventh, but Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee opened the inning with back-to-back homers off Cardinals starter Todd Wellemeyer.

"It's good to see those guys swinging," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. "Big home run by Berkman to get us going then Carlos doesn't want to be outdone. Then here comes 'Miggy' and he's doing his thing. They are our three big guys, and we have to ride them."

The righthanded Wellemeyer went seven innings, giving up just two runs and five hits with one walk and seven strikeouts.

"I did well for six innings and then I made some mistakes," Wellemeyer said. "I was throwing it where I wanted it. Lee hit a hanging slider. That's what I get for doing that."

"Wellemeyer has given us two outstanding starts," La Russa said. "He pitched a (heck) of a game."

J.R. Towles homered to lead off the eighth for the Astros, extending the lead to 3-0 heading into the ninth.

Houston starter Rodriguez pitched 7 1/3 brilliant innings, allowing three hits without a walk and six strikeouts on just 91 pitches.

The lefthander was in line for the win before the St. Louis rally in the ninth.

"Outstanding Opening Day. Crazy win for us," Cooper said. "Wandy had a great outing. He was just terrific. He was probably the best I have seen. He was efficient and had a great curveball tonight. That was the Wandy Rodriguez I hope shows up all the time this season."








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

    BATTERIES: STL - TODD WELLEMEYER, KELVIN JIMENEZ (8TH), KYLE MCCLELLAN (9TH)
    AND YADIER MOLINA
    HOU - WANDY RODRIGUEZ, DOUG BROCAIL (8TH), JOSE
    VALVERDE (9TH) AND J.R. TOWLES

    Apr 7 9:20 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY MIGUEL TEJADA (2) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 9TH OFF KYLE MCCLELLAN SCORED DARIN ERSTAD.
    FINAL SCORE: HOUSTON 5, ST LOUIS 3

    Cardinals 3, Astros 5  Bot 9, 0 OutsApr 7 9:20 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY RYAN LUDWICK SCORED CESAR IZTURIS AND TROY GLAUS.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, R LUDWICK ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 3
    HOUSTON 3 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: C DUNCAN (.143, 0-FOR-3)

    Cardinals 3, Astros 3  Top 9, 0 OutsApr 7 9:13 PM
  • 82
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 72 roots (Close Finish)

    Cardinals 3, Astros 3  Top 9, 0 OutsApr 7 9:13 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY TROY GLAUS SCORED AARON MILES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, T GLAUS ON FIRST, C IZTURIS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 1
    HOUSTON 3 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: R LUDWICK (.273, 0-FOR-3)

    Cardinals 1, Astros 3  Top 9, 0 OutsApr 7 9:12 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY J.R. TOWLES (2) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    8TH OFF KELVIN JIMENEZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 0, HOUSTON 3
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: D BROCAIL (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Cardinals 0, Astros 3  Bot 8, 0 OutsApr 7 8:52 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CARLOS LEE (3) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    7TH OFF TODD WELLEMEYER.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 0, HOUSTON 2
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M TEJADA (.250, 1-FOR-2)

    Cardinals 0, Astros 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsApr 7 8:35 PM


  • NL
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY LANCE BERKMAN (2) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 7TH OFF TODD WELLEMEYER.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 0, HOUSTON 1
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C LEE (.258, 0-FOR-2)

    Cardinals 0, Astros 1  Bot 7, 0 OutsApr 7 8:33 PM
  • 10
    roots
    westside Added 5 roots

    Cardinals 0, Astros 0  Top 7, 0 OutsApr 7 8:27 PM
  • 5
    roots
    jacook11 Added 5 roots

    Cardinals vs. AstrosApr 7 5:23 PM