Thu, Sep 14, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Cardinals hand Astros agonizing loss

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL The St. Louis Cardinals have knocked the Houston Astros back seven games in the National League, driven by pitcher Albert Pujols

AP , ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI

The St. Louis Cardinals' Scott Spiezio reacts after being hit by a pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs against Houston Astros pitcher Brad Lidge on Tuesday at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Spiezio reached first base on the hit-by-pitch and then scored the winning run on a two RBI double by Albert Pujols in the Cardinals' 6-5 victory over the Astros.

PHOTO: AP

National LeagueAlbert Pujols touched up Brad Lidge for another big hit on Tuesday, this time a broken-bat, two-run double with two outs in the ninth inning that gave the St. Louis Cardinals a 6-5 victory over Houston and handed the Astros an agonizing loss.

Preston Wilson homered for the Cardinals, who have won the first two games of a three-game series against the third-place Astros, knocking them seven games back in the National League Central. St. Louis has a five-game lead over the Reds.

Houston is 4-1/2 games behind wild-card leader San Diego.

The Cardinals got to Lidge, who blew his sixth save in 37 chances, for the third time this season. Lidge (1-5) had a blown save and a loss against St. Louis in the last two games before the All-Star break.

Chris Burke's two-run homer in the sixth put the Astros ahead 5-4, and Mike Lamb also homered for Houston in a game that featured five lead changes. The Astros used seven pitchers -- starter Andy Pettitte left in the third inning with an elbow injury.

Lamb's first-inning homer ended a 20-inning scoreless slump for Houston.

Reds 5, Padres 4, 11 innings

At Cincinnati, Jason LaRue's one-out homer in the 11th inning powered Cincinnati to a victory over San Diego and tightened the NL playoff race.

Mets 6, Marlins 4

At Miami, Carlos Delgado hit a tying, three-run homer in the eighth inning, and Cliff Floyd's RBI double put New York ahead to stay in its rain-delayed win over Florida.

The Mets trimmed their magic number for winning the NL East to three. They could clinch their first division title since 1988 on Wednesday with a victory over Florida and an Atlanta sweep in its doubleheader against Philadelphia.

Cubs 9, Dodgers 8, 11 innings

At Chicago, Cesar Izturis singled home the winning run with two outs in the 11th against his former team as Chicago overcame six errors and a 7-0 deficit to beat Los Angeles.

Matt Murton drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the 11th from Tim Hamulack (0-3) and, after a fielder's choice and fly out, Aramis Ramirez also walked.

Nationals 5, Diamondbacks 4

At Phoenix, Gold Glove second baseman Orlando Hudson's two-base throwing error cleared the way for Nook Logan's RBI single in the eighth inning to give Washington a victory over Arizona.

Giants 10, Rockies 6

At San Francisco, Pedro Feliz and Omar Vizquel hit two-run doubles to rally San Francisco from a four-run deficit, Randy Winn homered and the Giants gained ground in the division and wild-card races with a victory over Colorado.

The Giants won for the seventh time in nine games to pull within three games of the first-place Dodgers in the NL West and move 1-1/2 games behind wild card-leading San Diego.

American League

Carlos Guillen hit two solo homers, including the game-winner leading off the ninth inning, to lift the Detroit Tigers to a 3-2 win over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday.

Guillen, who also homered in the second inning, was greeted at the plate by his teammates and manager Jim Leyland after ending the game against Ron Mahay (1-3).

Marcus Thames tied the score with a solo shot in the seventh for the slumping Tigers won for just the sixth time in 19 games. Detroit, which had a 10-game lead over Chicago and 10-1/2 over Minnesota in the American League Central when play ended Aug. 7, began the day 1-1/2 games ahead of the Twins.

Yankees 12, Devil Rays 4

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