St. Louis (5-2) at Houston (3-5)

Fair Currently: Houston, TX
Temp: 77° F
  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Tue Apr 8, 2008
  • TV: FSMW, FSSW
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Houston Astros rallied for yet another thrilling victory their last time out. They hope this time they can finally carry some momentum into their next game.

The Astros look to win consecutive games for the first time all season when they continue their three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday.

After Houston (3-5) closer Jose Valverde blew a 3-0 lead in the top of the ninth inning Monday against St. Louis, Astros shortstop Miguel Tejada ended the game with a two-run homer in the bottom of the inning for a 5-3 victory.

“Every time I stepped up to the plate it was so exciting,” said Tejada, who has homered in each of his last two games. “I just wanted to do something for these fans.”

Houston’s only other two wins this season have also come from late-inning dramatics. In Wednesday’s 9-6 win at San Diego, the Astros scored four times in the top of the ninth, and in Friday’s 4-3 win over the Chicago Cubs, Houston scored twice in the eighth.

The Astros were unable to follow up either one of those victories with another win, though. This is the latest they’ve gone into a season without stringing together back-to-back wins since 1992.

On Monday, Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee opened the seventh inning with back-to-back homers to break a scoreless tie.

Lee is batting .345 (20-for-58) with four home runs and 16 RBIs in 17 games against the Cardinals since the start of last season. He is 2-for-7 with a solo homer versus Tuesday’s scheduled starter Brad Thompson (1-0, 0.00 ERA), while Berkman is 3-for-7 with two home runs and one double lifetime against Thompson.

Thompson split time between the starting rotation and the bullpen in 2007, but has looked quite comfortable as a starter lately. The right-hander gave up seven hits, walked two and struck out six in 6 2-3 innings of a 3-0 win over Colorado on Thursday, and has won his last three starts dating to last season, posting a 0.48 ERA in those contests.

Thompson is 2-0 with a 3.95 ERA in seven games - one start - lifetime against the Astros.

The Cardinals (5-2) had a five-game winning streak end on Monday.

Rick Ankiel went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in the series opener after going 8-for-20 with three home runs and six RBIs during the winning streak.

Albert Pujols is in the midst of a 1-for-10 slump, and is just 2-for-10 with a solo home run in his career against Tuesday’s scheduled starter Shawn Chacon (0-0, 3.00).

Chacon allowed two runs, five hits, four walks and struck out four in Houston’s 3-2 loss to San Diego on Thursday, but was not a factor in the decision.

Last season for Pittsburgh, Chacon had a 6.14 ERA in five relief appearances against St. Louis, but did not record a decision. The right-hander has not made a start against the Cardinals since 2006, and has yet to record a decision in 10 games - three starts - lifetime versus them.

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Starting Pitchers

B. Thompson Min vs. S. Chacon Oak
6-3 Record 2-3
5.15 ERA 5.04
32 K 53
19 BB 41
1.41 WHIP 1.51

Scoreboard

Tuesday, Apr 8