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Game 5, Cardinals vs. Astros, April 10

Cardinals 5, Astros 3 (3-2, 1st place)

Pineiro (1-0) W

Hampton (0-1) L 

What a relief to see such a good start from Joel Pineiro Friday night.

If Pineiro can stay focused and prove he can be the kind of pitcher he was with Seattle a few years ago, the Cardinals could really have something when it comes to their rotaion. He didn't allow Houston any freebies en route to a 5-3 win over Houston and he subsequently kept himself out of trouble.

The antiacids were at hand when Josh Kinney came into the game with a pair of runners on base then walked the sacks full and gave another free pass to push a runner across the plate. But after that he settled down quickly and turned in a decent performance. Jason Motte got a second chance at the ninth inning but couldn't nail down the game.

He gave up a pair of hits while only retiring one batter and had to give way to Kyle McClellan for the final two outs. Motte needs to get a few innings in before closing time to work on his secondary pitches because it appears that the opposition knows his fastball is coming and the young pitcher isn't locating it well enough to throw it by him.

Cardinals Star of the Game: Skip Schumaker isn't known for being very good against lefty pitching. But he was 3-for-5 in a game started by Mike Hampton with a run scored and an RBI. Schumaker also helped nicely turn a pair of double plays as he gets his feet underneath him at second base. 

Lowlight: Khalil Green was 0-for-3 at the plate to see his season batting average drop to .200. 

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