Bud Norris (5-10, 5.23) vs Kyle Lohse (12-2, 2.61)
BudChuck did what BudChuck does, and dominated the Cardinals. Every Astros hit was an extra-base hit, and they homered twice tonight. Unfortunately for Houston, Kyle Lohse also did what Kyle Lohse does, minimizing the damage and keeping Bud Norris winless since three months ago. Astros fall 4-2, putting the latest losing streak at six, and dropping to 39-85 on the season.
*It's an indictment of the Astros' offense that Bud Norris still hasn't won a game since May 21. He's now tossed six quality starts in his last nine games, but has been charged with a loss in four of those six. Bud's losing line tonight: 6 IP / 7 H / 3 R / 3 ER / 1 BB / 1 K. Wesley Wright pitched 1.1 perfect innings in relief, then Fernando Rodriguez came in and allowed St. Louis to tack on an insurance run in his 0.2.
*Lucky for the Astros that two of their three hits tonight were home runs, or the offense would have looked even worse. The three hits were Houston's fewest since Edinson Volquez one-hit them back on July 19.
*Brett Wallace got the Astros out to an early 1-0 lead with a solo homer in the first. He finished 1 for 4.
*After the Cards tied the score in the bottom of the 2nd, Chris Snyder pushed Houston out in front again with his solo shot in the 3rd. He finished 1 for 2, and also worked the Astros' only walk on the night.
*Jose Altuve doubled soon after Snyder's home run in the 3rd, for Houston's final hit. He ended up 1 for 4.
Leading 2-1 midway through the 5th, Bud Norris was in the driver's seat, and it looked like Houston might just steal one against the Cardinals' ERA leader. What happened next was not a terrible inning, but it would end up costing Bud the game. Rafael Furcal led off the bottom of the 5th with a single, moved to second on a sac bunt by Lohse, then scored on a Jon Jay single. Jay moved around to third, then scored on a wild pitch two batters later, giving St. Louis the 3-2 lead. The Astros wouldn't manage another base runner until the 8th, so that was all the scoring that the Cards would need.
Man of the Match:
Chris Snyder. He's got himself a mini four-game hitting streak now, going 5 for 13 (.385) with two home runs over that stretch.
Goat of the Game:
Every Astros hitter not named Snyder, Wallace, or Altuve.