Houston (79-66) at St. Louis (94-49)

Fog Currently: St. Louis, MO
Temp: 27° F
  • Game info: 8:10 pm EDT Wed Sep 15, 2004
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The St. Louis Cardinals will again be without third baseman Scott Rolen when they meet the Houston Astros in the middle game of their series at Busch Stadium.

Rolen strained a muscle in his left calf while running out a double in a 7-6 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday and has missed three straight games. He said his leg had been numb after he fouled a pitch off his left shin earlier in the at-bat, and he expects to sit out for a few more days.

“I’ll get out there as soon as I can get out there,” Rolen said. “I think the consensus is they want to be kind of cautious that I don’t go out there and push it a day or two early.”

Rolen, who is batting .320 with 32 homers and an NL-leading 121 RBIs, tested the injury on Monday.

“I jogged around the neighborhood with my dogs and I thought, ‘Not bad,”’ he said. “So I picked up the pace a little bit and tested it out with a few brisker sprints—‘Oh, not good.’ That’s kind of where we are today. I don’t think I could give a very good effort on the field.”

Without Rolen, the Cardinals have lost two of three, but they still have a 15 1/2 -game lead over the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.

Roger Clemens pitched seven strong innings for his 327th career win Tuesday, and Lance Berkman matched a career high with four hits to lead the Astros to a 7-5 victory in the series opener.

Berkman hit a three-run double to highlight a five-run fourth inning for Houston, which has won 15 of 18 and remained one game behind the San Francisco Giants in the NL wild-card race.

Tony Womack had three hits, a stolen base and scored on a first-inning double play for St. Louis, which has lost five of seven.

Matt Morris will try to lift the Cardinals out of their recent funk as he attempts to rebound from one of his worst starts of the season. The 30-year-old right-hander had won three straight starts before allowing seven runs and five hits over two innings in a 10-5 loss to the San Diego Padres last Wednesday.

“It was not my day,” Morris said. “It’s just one of those things. I was leaving too many balls out over the plate and you just can’t do that.”

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Starting Pitchers

C. Hernandez TB vs. M. Morris Pit
1-3 Record 15-10
6.43 ERA 4.72
26 K 131
23 BB 56
1.74 WHIP 1.29