The Cardinals left their bats and gloves back in Washington.
Collecting just four hits and committing two costly errors, St. Louis dropped the first of a three-game series to Houston by a score of 6-1.
Starting pitcher Braden Looper (7-5) did not pitch poorly, but he did receive the loss thanks to a lack of run support and a couple of miscues behind him.
Already trailing 2-0 in the fourth, Cesar Izturis’ throwing error led to a pair of Astro runs when the shortstop’s acrobatic throw to second ended up in right field. On the next play, catcher Yadier Molina dropped a throw from Albert Pujols that would have nailed Carlos Lee at the plate.
Houston starter Brian Moehler (3-2) shut out the Cards in his seven innings of work. Jose Valverde struck out the side in the ninth.