With an offensive outburst powered by second baseman Tyler Greene and first baseman Allen Craig, the St. Louis Cardinals halted a three-game losing streak and avoided a streak to the Houston Astros. After Matt Holliday worked a two-out walk in the top of the first inning, Craig got the scoring started with a laser beam homer off the arched façade of the Houston mallpark's railroad bridge. Yadier Molina singled to leadoff the second and was driven home by a Greene double to give St. Louis an early 3-0 lead. The duo of Greene and Craig didn't stop there.
In the third inning, a botched double play ball cost the Astros. After a Beltran walk, Holliday scorched a grounder to third. Second baseman Jose Altuve hurled the relay throw out of the first baseman's reach and into the camera well. The error meant not only that Holliday reached base but that he got to take second on account the ball winding up out of play on the wild throw. Craig then dug in and launched another shot into the Houston air--this one just to the center field side of the Crawford Boxes--for a double that plated Holliday for a 4-0 Cardinals lead.
The scoring continued in the fourth inning. Jon Jay led off the frame with a single. Greene was the next batter up and he drove a homer into the right-field bleachers, making the score 6-0. Greene didn't stop there. The second baseman walked in the sixth inning, stole second base, and crossed the plate on a Rafael Furcal single. In the eighth, Greene provided a proper punctuation mark to the Cardinals' offensive onslaught by slamming his second homer of the game.
The eight runs scored by the Cardinals offense were more than enough for righty Adam Wainwright. The club's ace, who is returning from Tommy John surgery that kept him from making a start in 2011, tossed his best game of the young season. Wainwright's curve had a nasty bite and he was able to mix it well with a seemingly livelier fastball for a solid outing: 7 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 7 H, 7 SO, 1 BB.
After playing their last 26 games against National League Central foes, the Cardinals will travel west to take on the Diamondbacks on Monday in the first of a three-game series.