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Bullpen meltdown, dead bats, sink Astros in St Louis, 5-3

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Another Urquidy shutdown start, 3 Brantley RBI, not enough

MLB: Houston Astros at St. Louis Cardinals

The St Louis Cardinals are the hottest team in baseball right now, and Paul Goldschmitt one of the hottest batters, And yet recent call-up from AAA, Jose Urquidy, seemed to have them on ice. In six innings the Cards could muster only one run on Urquidy, on four hits and two walks. He left the game with a two run lead and figured to be the winning pitcher, what with the shutdown 7-8-9th inning trio of Harris, Pressly and Osuna ready to do their usual deep-freeze on opponent bats.

This may have been the only game in which the Astros had two blown saves. I’ll look it up after sunrise. Will Harris allowed a homer to Matt Wieters in the seventh to allow the Cardinals to tie the game the game at 2 to 2.

But the Astros scored another run in the eighth to go up by one, and the odds of Astros victory looked strong with All-Star Ryan Pressly in to hold the lead. However, he gave up a three run homer to Goldschmitt, which was the winning hit of the game, handing Pressly his second loss of the season.

Which makes Urquidy’s performance all the more impressive, as two of the best relievers in baseball right now could not hold the Cards, and yet the rookie held them for six innings. Keep impressing young man.

Offensively the Astros managed only five hits all game, one a two run homer by Michael Brantley in the fourth inning off of Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty. This continues a hitting slump from the previous two games in which the Astros managed only 14 hits over the 19 innings. Alex Bregman is hitless over his last three games.

The Astros scored their only other run in the eighth when pitcher John Gant walked in Myles Straw, who pinch ran for pinch hitter Yordan Alvarez, who doubled earlier in the inning.

The Astros’ bats better wake up. Even Gerrit Cole will need better run support than this if the Astros expect to win tomorrow. Cole will be opposed by the ever youthful Daniel Ponce De Leon.

Game time 6:15.

It seemed that the return of Carlos Correa was blessed by an omen from nature. Alas, it was not meant to be.

Box score and videos HERE.