St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) – Jeff Keppinger drove in four runs as Houston scored seven times in the final two innings to take a 9-4 win over St. Louis in the opener of a three-game set.
Chris Johnson drove in two runs while Hunter Pence and Carlos Lee each had two hits, two runs scored and an RBI for the Astros, who have won a season-high six straight games.
Brett Myers went six innings and was charged with three runs — two earned — on three hits with four walks and four strikeouts. He has now gone 22 consecutive starts of at least six innings, which is a Houston record to begin the season. Nelson Figueroa (3-1) was given the win for throwing the seventh inning.
Albert Pujols hit a solo home run while Felipe Lopez went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored for the Cardinals, who had won three straight coming in.
Jake Westbrook went six innings in his Cardinals debut and was charged with two runs on four hits with a walk and seven strikeouts. Mike MacDougal (1-1) was saddled with the loss.
Trailing by two runs in the eighth, Houston surged ahead. With Jason Motte on the mound, Michael Bourn led off with a walk and stole second before Anderson Hernandez walked.
MacDougal then took the mound and got Pence to foul out, but Lee singled home Bourn and Keppinger followed with a double to tie the game. After Brett Wallace was intentionally walked, Johnson hit into a fielder’s choice to give Houston a 5-4 lead. Humberto Quintero hit into a double play to end the inning.
Houston padded its lead in the ninth. With men on first and third, Pence punched a single to left that scored one and, two batters later, Keppinger belted a two-run single to center. After Wallace flied out, Johnson doubled off the wall in left to bring home one more for a 9-4 lead.
Matt Lindstrom worked around a leadoff single in the ninth to close out the victory.
St. Louis got on the board in the first as Lopez led off with a single, then came home when Myers and Bourn both committed throwing errors on Jon Jay’s grounder back to the mound.
Houston took the lead in the fourth. Hernandez led off with a double and Pence followed with an infield single. After Lee struck out, Keppinger grounded out to allow Hernandez to score. Wallace then hit a single off of Westbrook and Pence came home for a 2-1 lead.
It was short-lived, though, as Pujols led off the bottom of the fourth with a shot over the left field wall. St. Louis put its next three men on base to for Skip Schumaker, who grounded into a double play for a 3-2 lead.
St. Louis got another run in the seventh, when Brendan Ryan singled with two outs and came home on Lopez’s double.
On Sunday, the Astros and Myers agreed to a $21 million deal that runs through the 2011 and 2012 seasons and includes an option for 2013…Quintero celebrated his 31st birthday on Monday…Houston has taken six of the 10 games against St. Louis this season…Pujols has 26 home runs this season.