Ryan Ludwick’s two out, two single in the sixth inning gave the Cardinals the lead, but Kyle McClellan was unable to hold the lead for Chris Carpenter seeking his 15 th win of the year as Houston rallies late for a 4-3 win Thursday afternoon at Busch Stadium.
It wasn’t a dominating performance by Chris Carpenter, but he was effective enough to keep the game close. Carpenter went six innings and allowed just two runs in the second inning.
In that second inning, Matt Holliday got one of the runs back with his 18 th homer of the year…a solo shot to right field. With runners on second and third with two outs in the sixth, Ryan Ludwick singled up the middle off Astros’ starter Brian Moehler to give St. Louis a 3-2 lead.
In the eighth, McClellan gave up a two out double to Darin Ernstad to tie the game at 3-3. Houston manager called on his closer Jose Valverde to pitch the eighth with Pujols, Holliday and Ludwick due up. After a four pitch walk to Pujols, Valverde got out of the inning.
McClellan gave up a home run to Jeff Keppinger that just cleared the wall in left field in the ninth to give Houston the win. The Cubs lost to Washington (who comes into St. Louis Friday) 5-4 so the Cardinals magic number goes down to 27 with a nine game lead in the Central Division.