(Sports Network) - Veteran right-hander Jeff Suppan tries again to end a season-long drought when the St. Louis Cardinals visit Minute Maid Park tonight for the second of three weekend games with the Houston Astros.
The Cardinals won Friday's opener, 8-0, to climb within two games of the first-place Cincinnati Reds in the National League's Central Division. The Reds lost at Philadelphia last night.
Adam Wainwright turned in eight scoreless innings for St. Louis while Albert Pujols collected two hits, including a two-run homer, and drove in three runs. Louis. Matt Holliday added a three-run blast for the Cardinals, who had lost three in a row and four of five coming in.
On the heels of a complete-game five-hitter his last time on the hill, Wainwright (13-5) scattered six hits while fanning four and walking three. He moved to 9-1 lifetime against the Astros.
Lance Berkman walked twice and singled for the Astros, who saw their three- game win streak halted. Bud Norris (2-6), who had won his previous four starts against St. Louis, was dented in defeat for seven hits and five runs over 7 2/3 innings.
Suppan, who turned 35 in January, was 0-2 with a 7.84 earned run average in 15 appearances - two starts - with Milwaukee to begin the season. He came to the Cardinals after being released by the Brewers and has made four starts since, picking up a pair of no-decisions and two more losses.
In his most recent outing, which came on June 30 against Arizona, he allowed nine hits and three earned runs in 5 2/3 innings en route to a 4-2 loss. St. Louis is 1-3 and has been outscored, 13-10, in games Suppan has pitched.
The Oklahoma City native is 3-7 in 18 career matchups with the Astros, including a no-decision in a scoreless two-inning relief stint on May 26 in Milwaukee.
Houston counters with hard-throwing Floridian Brett Myers, who gave up eight hits and two runs in six innings while beating the Cardinals, 6-3, on May 11 in St. Louis. It was the second start of the season for Myers against St. Louis, following up a tough-luck 2-1 loss on April 14 in which he gave up just four hits and one earned run in seven innings.
Myers is 5-3 lifetime against the Cardinals in 15 games, 13 of which have been starts.
The former first-round draft choice (12th overall, 1999) has come up empty in his last two starts, which came on the road against Milwaukee and San Diego, but is 4-0 in eight starts at home this season with a 2.68 ERA in 53 2/3 innings.
Houston had won four of six matchups against the Cardinals this season prior to Friday's defeat.