The Cardinals got a gem from its rookie fill-in, but couldn’t hold on to the lead late in the game and ultimately lost 6-3 to the Astros.

Starter Anthony Reyes stepped in to start for the injured Chris Carpenter. The way he looked on the mound, it was hard to tell that it was just the second start in Reyes’ big league career. He gave up three runs on five hits and struck out seven in 6 1/3 innings.

In his two major league starts, Reyes has allowed 11 baserunners, three earned runs, and struck out eight in 12 innings.

Reyes handed the ball over to Josh Hancock in the seventh with one out and two men on. Hancock allowed those runners to score, leaving Reyes responsible, and then proceeded to give up three more runs he got credited for. Craig Biggio capped things off in the inning with a two-run homer. All that before he got two outs. The Astros came in to the seventh down 3-1, but ended the inning up 6-3.

Andy Pettitte got his fourth win of the year. He went six innings giving up three runs on seven hits including two home runs.

The Cardinals got home runs from Scott Rolen and Juan Encarnacion in the fourth, but both came with no one on base.

St. Louis is 33-19 and five games up on the Reds in the National League Central.