The Astros refuse to concede the National League Central race to the Cardinals. Houston holds a very slim chance of taking over the lead – trailing 5.5 games with only nine games left – but they aren’t going to give up until they have no shot.
It was familiar Astro that rescued the team during its 6-5 win over St. Louis Friday. One of the original Killer B’s, Craig Biggio, collected three hits and three RBI. It was Biggio’s game-winning single with two-out in the ninth inning that made him most happy. Biggio also had a two-RBI single in the eighth that brought Houston to within striking distance.
Morgan Ensberg homered for the Astros, who have beaten the Cardinals two nights in a row.
The biggest story for St. Louis was the return of shortstop David Eckstein to the lineup. Eckstein had been on the disabled list for close to a month with a strained oblique. He returned in fine fashion going 3-for-5 including a solo home run.
Cardinals starter Chris Narveson – a recent minor league call-up – lasted just four innings allowing two runs on two hits and striking out six. Josh Kinney and Randy Flores combined to shutout the ‘Stros over the next two innings, but the rest of the relievers had less luck. Adam Wainright surrendered two runs in 1.1 innings. Tyler Johnson retired two batters without a hitch. Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa knew he was in trouble when he lost closer Jason Isringhausen for the year, but Braden Looper had closing experience and figured to be a sufficient fill-in. Looper was unable to slam the door Friday giving up the two runs in the ninth including the game-winner to Biggio.