A pair of home runs catapulted the St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-0 victory over the Houston Astros on Wednesday night in St. Louis, as the Cardinals maintained their two-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers for the second NL wild card spot.
Cardinals third baseman David Freese hit a two-run home run in the second inning, his 20th of the year, for a 2-0 lead. In the fourth, Astros pitcher Lucas Harrell (10-10) surrendered another homer to Yadier Molina. His blast to center field was also his 20th of the season. The Cardinals later added two runs in the eighth.
Harrell struck out seven and only gave up those three runs in nearly six innings of work, but Cardinals pitching silenced Harrell's teammates at the plate. Lance Lynn (16-7) picked up the win with 6⅓ scoreless innings, striking out five and giving up just three hits on the outing. Cardinals relievers held the Astros to two hits rest of the way.
The Cardinals (79-70) finish the series with the Astros (48-101) tomorrow in an afternoon outing. Jaime Garcia (4-7, 4.24 ERA) will pitch for the Saint Louis. Houston's Bud Norris (5-12, 4.93) is slated to start but is dealing with flu-like symptoms that may scratch him from the lineup.
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