Photo is credited to Getty Images.
This week, the Cardinals and Astros met at Minute Maid Park in Houston for a two-game series, their second and final meeting of this season.
Game One: Cardinals 8, Astros 5 — WP: Jaime Garcia (10-8) LP: Dallas Keuchel (7-12) SV: Seung Hwan Oh (12)
With a pair of timely home runs, the Cardinals took the first game of the two-game meeting on Tuesday by an 8-5 final score, the Cardinals’ first victory over the Astros in their three games to date in 2016.
Cardinals left-fielder Tommy Pham hit a two-run home run off Astros starter Dallas Keuchel to tie the score at four, and Jedd Gyorko took Houston reliever Pat Neshek deep in the sixth for a three-run shot that put St. Louis ahead in the run column for good.
Neither Keuchel nor Jaime Garcia were very effective in their starts, but Garcia allowed five runs in his outing, whereas Keuchel was charged with six.
In relief of Garcia, Alex Reyes, who was making his third major-league appearance, gave the Cardinals two scoreless innings, in which he whiffed four batters.
History was made in the bottom of the ninth inning by Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, who recorded the 1,000 hit of his career. The 26-year-old has reached the milestone faster than any Astros player has before him.
Game Two: Cardinals 8, Astros 2 — WP: Carlos Martinez (11-7) LP: Doug Fister (11-8)
Backed by one of Carlos Martinez’s most polished starts of the season thus far and an offense that appeared to be firing on all cylinders, the Cardinals took Wednesday’s matinee over the Astros, 8-2, notching their fourth consecutive win and handing the Astros their fourth straight loss.
Martinez held the Astros off the hit column until the sixth inning and to just one run on three hits in his seven-inning outing, which he whiffed seven batters in to give him a team-best 119 punchouts in 144.1 innings.
For the eighth straight game, the Cardinals hit two or more home runs. On Wednesday, the two home runs came off the bats of Brandon Moss and Jeremy Hazelbaker, who now have 22 and nineteen homers on the season, respectively.
After Sam Tuivailala loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth inning, manager Mike Matheny went with Matt Bowman out of the bullpen to get the Cardinals out of the jam. Bowman did so with ease, recording two strikeouts and a inducing a game-ending forceout to seal a win for the Cardinals.
Cardinals: Following their second day off of this week, the Cardinals will open a three-game series at Philadelphia against the Phillies on Friday night.
Astros: Unlike the Cardinals, the Astros do not have two days off this week. The Astros will visit Baltimore for a four-game series with the Orioles, beginning on Thursday evening.