It may just be only a Spring Training game, but any win over the Cardinals has an extra level of sweetness. The Astros may be in the American League now, but the rivalry with Cards still lingers in my mind. St. Louis left Kissimmee with a 7-6 loss on Tuesday, much to my enjoyment.
Jon Singleton and Luis Valbuena got off on the right foot in the first with a pair of doubles. Valbuena scored the Astros' first run of the game, and Singleton picked up his fifth double of the spring.
Samuel Deduno was the pitcher of record in the win for the Astros. He and Brett Oberholtzer pitched three innings for the Houston. Oberholtzer started the game, retiring six of the first seven batters he faced - minus a walk to Mark Reynolds. The wheels fell off for Obie in the third, giving up a double to Tony Cruz to lead off the inning. He would give up three more singles that resulted in two runs for the Cards.
Chad Qualls was the first reliever out of the pen for the Astros and Jacob Wilson greeted him with a double. Wilson would score after moving to the third on a fielder's choice and a passed ball. Tuesday was Qualls' second appearance this spring.
The Astro bats went to work down 3-1 in the fourth. Jason Castro walked before Jed Lowrie and Colby Rasmus hit back-to-back doubles to score two. Jose Altuve and Luis Valbuena added two more runs with singles to close out the inning.
It was Luke Gregerson's turn next out of the 'pen. Gregerson gave up single to Scott Moore and a double to Matt Holliday to put two runners in scoring position. He would limit the damage to one run, as Mark Reynolds grounded into a fielder's choice (scoring Kelly) and Tommy Pham popped out to center.
The Astros took the lead in the seventh with Max Stassi' opposite field two-run home run.
The Cardinals final run of the game came in the ninth off Josh Fields, prospect Jacob Wilson smacked a pitch over the left field wall to bring the Cardinals within one. Fields would strike out the next two of three batters complete the win for the Astros.