Jose Altuve's first RBI could not have come at a better time.
With the score square at 2-2 in the top of the 9th inning Altuve came up to bat with men on second and first with two outs. He took the first pitch he saw from Mitchell Boggs up the middle for a single that allowed Carlos Corporan to score what would eventually be the winning run of the game. Then things got a little weird. The throw to the plate was a little off target and ended up hitting the on deck hitter Jason Bourgeois who was directing traffic. It would ricochet, away from Boggs who was backing up at home plate, allowing Michael Bourn to score. Tony LaRussa emerged from the dugout to discuss the play with the umpire. After a quick pow wow, the umpires allowed the run to stand.
In the bottom of the inning the Cardinals made it just as interesting. Astros closer Mark Melancon allowed the first two batters reached via a walk and single. Both runners would move up after a successful bunted by Daniel Descalso. Ryan Theriot then came up to the plate looking to tie the game but struck out on five pitches. Which lead to the big bad Albert Pujols getting an opportunity to tie or even win the game. A base was open so Brad Mills had a choice between facing Pujols or Matt Holiday, Mills chose Pujols.
After two quick strikes Pujols worked the count even before finally striking out swinging to end the game. It was the first win the Astros have had since Altuve had made his big league debut.
Getting to the 9th inng was a bit uninteresting unless you're a fan of pitching.
Chris Carpenter went 7 innings, struck out 8, walked 1 and allowed 2 runs on 8 hits. Those two runs came via a Clint Barmes homerun in the top of the 2nd inning. Countering Carpenter was Bud Norris who continued his success against the Cardinals with a 6 inning effort, he struck out 5, walked 2 and allowed 2 earned runs on 4 hits.
Despite the low score several Astros had a good nights offensively. Altuve ultimately ended up going 3-5 on the night, Bourn was 2-4 with a walk, Jason Bourgeois starting for Pence in right field went 3-5, Chris Johnson despite some defensive miscue was 2-4 with a walk and Barmes was 2-4 with a homerun.
Brett Wallace continued to struggle going 0-3 with two strikeouts. He would be pinch hit for in favor of Hunter Pence in the 8th inning with the bases loaded. Pence would ground into an inning ending double play.
A good win all around. I look forward to more games like these.