H E
Hou 1 2 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 5 11 1
Stl 0 0 0 3 5 1 0 4 13 17 2
Date of game: 8/23/2012

Recap: St. Louis vs. Houston

St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Matt Holliday highlighted a five-run fifth inning with a go-ahead three-run double as the St. Louis Cardinals finished off a three-game sweep of the Houston Astros with a 13-5 rout at Busch Stadium.

Holliday finished with four RBI, David Freese crushed a three-run home run and added an RBI single, while Allen Craig went 3-for-5 with three RBI and Rafael Furcal and Yadier Molina drove in runs for the defending World Series champs, who have won four of their last five games.

"It was one of the biggest games of the year to close out the sweep against these guys," Craig said. "We weren't really swinging very well, but to turn it around the way we did was huge."

Jake Westbrook (13-9) wasn't sharp, allowing five runs on seven hits and two walks, but he just did enough over five innings to get his sixth win in his last seven decisions.

Jose Altuve went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI, while Scott Moore and starter Dallas Keuchel added RBI for the Astros, who lost for the seventh consecutive time.

Keuchel (1-6) allowed six runs -- five earned -- on five hits and a walk over just four-plus innings.

"Keuchel pitched good through the first three innings," Astros interim manager Tony DeFrancesco said. "I was pleased, he kept the ball down, but you get to the fourth inning and we had a two-out walk. Molina hits a double down the line, and then a three-run homer and they're back in the game."

Trailing, 5-3, heading into the fifth, the Cards took control of the game with five runs in the frame. Furcal started the big inning with a base hit and pinch-hitter Ryan Jackson followed with a single and Jon Jay reached on a throwing error by Brett Wallace to load the bases.

Keuchel was pulled in favor of Hector Ambriz, but he allowed an RBI single to Craig before surrendering Holliday's double -- a rocket into the left-center field gap -- to put the Cards ahead, 7-5. Molina gave St. Louis a three-run lead later in the inning with an RBI base hit.

Craig doubled home Jay in the sixth to make it a 9-5 game and the Cards tacked on four more runs in the eighth.

Pinch-hitter Shane Robinson started the frame with a two-bagger and scored on a single by Furcal. Craig and Holliday stroked consecutive RBI base hits and Freese capped the scoring with a bases-loaded infield single.

Earlier, Houston opened the scoring with a run in its first at-bat. Wallace got things started with a two-out double and came around to score when Ben Francisco hit one back to Westbrook, but the St. Louis starter fired it over the head of Craig.

Moore was plunked to start the Houston second inning and Fernando Martinez doubled down the line in right to put runners on second and third. Keuchel lofted a sacrifice fly to left and Altuve drove in Martinez with a single for a 3-0 Astros lead.

Altuve brought home Martinez with a sac fly in the fourth, extending the lead to 4-0.

Freese pulled the Cardinals within one in the home portion of the inning after he clubbed a changeup from Keuchel into the bullpen in right field for a three-run shot.

A sac fly by Moore in the fifth extended the Houston lead to 5-3, but Cards took control of the game in the bottom half.

Game Notes

Prior to Thursday's effort, Keuchel had registered quality starts in his last three outings ... The Astros fell to 12-51 on the road this season ... St. Louis outhit Houston, 17-11 ...The Astros finished 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left 12 men on base ...Houston fell to 8-10 at Busch Stadium since the start of the 2010 season.

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