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Astros Vs. Cardinals Final Score: Houston Falls In Series Opener, 4-1

Unable to push their winning streak to three games, the Houston Astros came up short on Tuesday night against St. Louis in a series-opening loss at Busch Stadium, 4-1.

Houston starter Fernando Abad tossed five innings of three-run ball before exiting with six strikeouts, but still took the loss to drop to 0-4 on the season. Along with holding Astros hitters to just four hits over seven innings of work, St. Louis right-hander Kyle Lohse also managed to help his own cause by smacking an RBI double in the fifth inning to pad his team's lead.

Aside from a Brett Wallace RBI single that plated shortstop Jimmy Paredes in the eighth inning, the Astros were hard-pressed to get much going offensively to kick off the series. Youngster Matt Dominguez did manage to push his meager hitting streak to five games with a 1-4 performance, but it's clear the Astros will need to pick up much more across the board in order to pull out a series victory in their last trip to St. Louis as a National League team.

Now with 100 losses on the season, the Astros have a mere 14 games remaining in their forgettable 2012 campaign. Lucas Harrell, one of the biggest bright spots in a down year for Houston's pitching staff, will take the ball in Game 2 on Wednesday to face St. Louis' Lance Lynn.

Be sure to visit The Crawfish Boxes for more Astros coverage, and check out Viva El Birdos for more on the Cardinals. Also head over to Baseball Nation for even more news and analysis from around the league.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.