Houston (8-9) at St. Louis (11-5)

Partly Cloudy Currently: St. Louis, MO
Temp: 93° F
  • Game info: 2:15 pm EDT Sun Apr 24, 2005
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Matt Morris makes his first home start of the season for the St. Louis Cardinals as they try to complete a three-game sweep of the Houston Astros.

After missing two starts while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, Morris won his season debut against Pittsburgh on Tuesday as he limited the Pirates to one run and four hits in six innings of a 7-1 victory.

“As the game went on, I was able to get comfortable and put the ball where I wanted to, which is a plus,” Morris said. “Coming off an injury, sometimes you start to fade away.”

The veteran right-hander went 9-4 with a 3.69 ERA in 16 starts at home last season. Morris is 8-9 with a 3.55 ERA against Houston in 27 career appearances, including 24 starts.

Morris will have a difficult act to follow after Mark Mulder pitched a four-hitter in 10 innings in a 1-0 victory on Saturday. Mulder struck out five and walked none to become the first Cardinal to go 10 innings since Jose DeLeon pitched 11 against Cincinnati in 1989.

“I’m pitching the same way I always have, I’m just getting better results,” Mulder said.

Mulder outlasted Houston’s Roger Clemens, who worked seven sparkling innings to extend his scoreless innings streak to 23. Larry Walker’s RBI single off Brad Lidge accounted for all the scoring.

St. Louis manager Tony La Russa can notch his 2,126th win on Sunday. It would move him into sole possession of fifth place on the all-time list past Joe McCarthy.

The Astros rested first baseman Jeff Bagwell on Saturday. Bagwell has been plagued by right shoulder problems and is hitting just .207.

“It is what it is,” Bagwell said. “I’m trying to make adjustments around it. I’m working on it. This is just a regular off day.”

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Starting Pitchers

B. Backe Hou vs. M. Morris Pit
10-8 Record 14-10
4.76 ERA 4.11
97 K 117
67 BB 37
1.46 WHIP 1.28