After an awful start by Jake Westbrook, the Cardinals rallied Thursday for three runs in the fourth and five runs in the fifth to sweep the Astros and complete their homestand with a 6-3 record.
Allen Craig and David Freese each erupted for three hits in the game while Jon Jay, Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina and Rafael Furcal each collected two hits in the contest.
In the third the Cardinals put two men on base with two outs before Freese, who has struggled terribly lately, launched a three-run homer to right field. The Astros saw a 4-0 lead cut to 4-3 before Westbrook allowed another run and was yanked after the top of the fifth.
In the bottom of the fifth, Furcal singled to lead off and moved to second on the first major league hit by pinch hitter Ryan Jackson who batted in place of Westbrook. Jay tried to bunt by the ball was mishandled by Houston first sacker Brett Wallace and the bases were loaded with no outs. Freese singled to make the game 5-4 then Holliday doubled off the left centerfield wall to clear the bases and put St. Louis ahead 7-4. Molina singled to drive home Holliday to complete the scoring in the five-run inning.
The Birds added a run in the sixth and four more in the eighth to complete the scoring in the 13-5 victory.
Westbrook gave up five runs on seven hits and two walks in five innings of work. He also made a critical throwing error in the first inning that led to Houston's first run. But after he departed, the bullpen dominated with four hits and no runs allowed in four innings. Because of the offense's busy day, Westbrook was fortunate to be the winning pitcher despite leaving the game down by two. He improved to 13-9 on the season.
Cardinals Star of the Game: David Freese
Cardinals Play of the Game: Matt Holliday's bases clearing triple.
Lowlight: Westbrook's clunky start.
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