Cardinals vs. Astros: Saint Louis drops game 3 in midst of Wild Card chase

The St. Louis Cardinals closed out the series in Houston by being shut out 2-0.

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Cardinals muster just 3 hits in 2-0 loss

A 2-0 loss to the Houston Astros keeps the Cardinals with work cut out to grab the final National League playoff spot.


Freese and Beltran out for Cardinals on Wednesday

St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese and outfielder Carlos Beltran are both out of the lineup on Wednesday, as the Cards go for a sweep over the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.

David Freese is nursing a sore ankle, and it is unclear when he'll return, although it could be on Friday following the Cardinals' off day. Meanwhile, Beltran is apparently just getting a standard rest day. Matt Carpenter is in at third base for the Cards, while Adron Chambers will take Beltran's spot in right field.

Here are the full lineups:


1. Jon Jay CF
2. Matt Carpenter 3B
3. Matt Holliday LF
4. Allen Craig 1B
5. Yadier Molina C
6. Adron Chambers RF
7. Daniel Descalso 2B
8. Pete Kozma SS
9. Chris Carpenter P


1. Jose Altuve 2B
2. Scott Moore RF
3. Jed Lowrie SS
4. Justin Maxwell CF
5. Brett Wallace 1B
6. Jason Castro C
7. Fernando Martinez LF
8. Brandon Laird 3B
9. Bud Norris P

Chris Carpenter is back on the mound on Wednesday, after making his first start of the season last week. He allowed two runs in five innings in a loss to the Chicago Cubs. The Astros will counter with Bud Norris, who remains one of the better strikeout pitchers among NL starters, despite having a poor record and ERA.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CT.


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Cardinals hungry for sweep of Astros on Wednesday

Seeking to pad their playoff resume with just one week left in the season, the St. Louis Cardinals will be thinking of a sweep on Wednesday evening against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.

The Cardinals outscored Houston, 10-1, over the series' first two games, and used a brilliant performance from lefty Jaime Garcia to keep the Astros from plating a single run on Tuesday. Hoping to get one of their power arms going at the ideal time, recently activated starter Chris Carpenter (0-0, 3.60 ERA) will take the mound on Wednesday for his second start of the season after missing time due to thoracic outlet syndrome.

Carpenter was limited to just 77 pitches through five innings of two-run ball in his debut last Friday, but it's likely that the 37-year-old ace will be afforded a longer leash this time around. Carpenter and his St. Louis teammates will try to get the better of Houston righty Bud Norris (5-13, 5.05 ERA) in the finale, a pitcher who has given up 12 earned runs and 10 walks over just 23 and 1/3 innings against the Cardinals this season.


Cardinals try to continue success against Astros

The St. Louis Cardinals have their second of three games against the Houston Astros on Monday, when they look to consolidate their hold on the Wild Card by taking advantage of facing one of the National League's worst teams. St. Louis currently holds one of the two NL Wild Cards with a 3½ game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Jaime Garcia (5-7, 4.25 ERA) will be on the hill for St. Louis, facing Lucas Harrell (10-10, 3.89 ERA) for Houston. The Cardinals are 10-3 against Houston in the 2012 season, but Garcia is 1-2 with a 9.64 ERA. St. Louis last faced Harrell on Sept. 19, where he gave up three runs in a 5-0 St. Louis win.

Game Time: 8:05 p.m. ET
Television Coverage: FSMW, FSH
Streaming Coverage:

Stick with this StoryStream for lineups, scores and more from the Cardinals vs. Astros series. For more insight and analysis, check out Cardinals blog Viva El Birdos. For the perspective from Houston, check out Astros blog Crawfish Boxes.

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