Lohse dominates in Cards' 5-1 win

Thursday, May 19, 2011

ST. LOUIS -- Kyle Lohse paid no attention to the ever-changing defensive lineup behind him. He just kept attacking the Houston Astros' lineup.

Lohse threw eight dominant innings to beat the Astros for the second time in less than a month, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-1 victory Wednesday night. Cardinals manager Tony La Russa used three players in left field and three at second base to compensate for what he believed to be minor injuries to left fielder Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman.

"I just kept throwing it up there and letting them hit to whoever was somewhere, I don't know," Lohse said. "I couldn't even tell who was where at the end.

"We've got guys that can play different positions and you need that, especially on a weird night like tonight when guys are going down."

Jon Jay had two RBIs in a four-run third and started a double play in the seventh with a diving catch in center field. Pinch-hitter Pete Kozma -- hitting for Berkman -- had an RBI double in his first career at-bat for the Cardinals, who have won three in a row while limiting the opposition to only three runs.

Bud Norris was knocked out after five innings against a team he's dominated. Norris (2-3) had been 5-1 with a 1.97 ERA against the Cardinals and 4-0 in St. Louis. He only was 17-15 overall.

"That's a good hitting lineup," Norris said. "I'm fortunate to do so well against them the last couple of times, but you can't hold them down forever.

"They found some holes and it's a little tough to swallow, but that's the game of baseball."

Norris faced 10 batters in the third, issuing a bases-loaded walk to Allen Craig and allowed five runs on seven hits in his second-shortest appearance of the year.

Michael Bourn and Humberto Quintero had two hits apiece for the Astros, who have lost four in a row and totaled four runs over the last three games.

La Russa finished with only backup catcher Gerald Laird on the bench. Holliday was removed after two innings with a tight left quadriceps, perhaps from making a running catch at the warning track, and Kozma pinch hit in the sixth for Berkman, removed as a precaution with tightness in his right wrist not long after he charged to make a diving catch in right field.

"Holliday gave me a nod, which makes me think that he'll be back soon," La Russa said, adding that his cleanup hitter might not be back for a day game today.

Berkman said he jammed his wrist into the ground getting the catch. X-rays showed no problems.

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