The Cubs were able to take a game from the Nationals Wednesday night with a late inning outburst.
But, alas, the Wee Bears were able to gain no ground in the NL Central as the Cardinals defeated Roy Oswalt and the Astros by one run for the second consecutive night. Joel Pineiro was incredible with eight innings pitched and two runs allowed.
The St. Louis advantage remains at nine games and the magic number shrinks to 28 as the schedule draws one game closer to the end of the season.
Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols and third baseman Mark DeRosa celebrate a 3-2 victory over Houston Wednesday night. AP photo.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Pineiro threw only 87 pitches in his eight innings, 63 of them for strikes. He allowed seven hits, including four in the Astros fourth that weren't exactly crushed. Two of the hits, which led to Houston's two runs were seeing eye singles that easily could have been outs.
Lowlight: The Birds did all their scoring, for the second night in a row, in the first inning. They left 11 runners on base, which put them in a situation where the tying run was in scoring position in the ninth inning in a game that should have been well in hand. But it's hard to complain too much when you face a pair of tough Houston starters and come away with the win.