ST. LOUIS (AP) - Winning a game for the Houston Astros is not easy these days.
Just ask Houston starter Brett Myers.
Myers pitched his second straight quality start Tuesday in St. Louis, holding the Cardinals to three runs in eight innings of work. But his teammates only managed to score once, and all Myers (3-11) had to show for his effort was another loss as the Astros fell by a 3-1 count.
``He did a great job,' said Houston manager Brad Mills. ``He made his pitches the whole game. He moved his pitches around the zone well and changed speeds.'
In his last outing on July 20 against Washington, Myers allowed two runs on eight hits over seven innings. He did not get a decision in that contest.
Myers put himself behind the eight-ball Tuesday before he had retired his second batter. With one out and a runner on first, Albert Pujols belted Myers first pitch to him on a line to deep left center. The ball appeared to hit the top of the fence, but was ruled a home run by third base umpire Mike DiMuro. The call was upheld after a replay review and gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead.
``I heard it hit the wall,' Myers said. ``He hit it good, there's no doubt about that. I don't know how they (would have) missed it unless they just looked at one angle.'
Crew chief Jim Reynolds said the replay convinced the crew the right call was made.
``Once the replay that we looked at showed that it hit the concrete behind it, then it's a home run,'``' Reynolds said.
Undaunted, Myers settled down and pitched all eight innings for the Astros. He went on to allow 11 hits, but just the three runs, the other coming on a solo shot by David Freese with two out in the sixth. Myers did not walk a man and struck out four.
Houston fell to 0-5 on its season-long, 10-game road trip and 0-4 at Busch Stadium.
Mills said the Pujols homer was an example of the team's luck these days.
``You don't want excuses or to use those things like slipping on the turf last night or the home-run call tonight,' Mills said. ``We want to be able to overcome those things.'
Carlos Lee had an RBI single in the third for Houston's only run. He drove in Michael Bourn, who had doubled to extend his hitting streak to 11 games.
Houston had plenty of chances against St. Louis starter Jake Westbrook (9-4), who allowed seven hits and a walk in his six innings. But the Astros went 2-for-17 with runners on base and 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
``I'm just trying to be as consistent as I can possibly be and that's something I haven't been all year,' Westbrook said. ``I just want to keep putting together good start after good start and hopefully I can keep it rolling.'
Fernando Salas struck out the side in the ninth for his 19th save in 22 opportunities.
Myers settled down after the Pujols' blast, allowing just Freese's solo shot with two-out in the sixth. He gave up 11 hits but just the three runs with no walks and four strikeouts in eight innings of work while falling to 0-4 in the month of July.
Notes: Cardinals second baseman Skip Schumaker is batting .368 in July (21-for-57). ... Houston's Jose Altuve reached on an infield single in the first. Altuve has now hit safely in his first six Major League games, one shy of Russ Johnson's team record of seven games to start a career set in 1997. ... Cardinals outfielder Lance Berkman was back in the lineup after missing a game to rest a sore shoulder, but left before the start of the fifth inning after going 0-for-2 to snap an eight-game hitting streak. ... Bourn has been one bright spot on the trip. He stole his Major League leading 38th base Tuesday and is 10-for-23 in his last five games (.476).
The Associated Press News Service
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