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Astros Show No Mercy. Pummel Cards 14-0

Astros win the hit contest 18-4

MLB: Houston Astros at St. Louis Cardinals
Astros catcher Yainer Diaz (21) hits an RBI double against the St. Louis Cardinals in the second inning at Busch Stadium
Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports

I hope the Astros saved some runs for the Rangers tomorrow.

But I choose to believe that 24 runs in the last two games are just the beginning of something even better.

The Astros got to St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright in his 400th career start for six runs in the second inning. It started with a broken-bat single to center by Corey Julks, followed by a Bligh Madris walk. Wainwright looked like he might escape when he retired the next two batters, but Jose Altuve singled home Julks, followed by an Alex Bregman walk.

Kyle Tucker then doubled home Altuve and Jeremy Pena, Jose Abreu doubled home Bregman and Tucker, and Yainer Diaz doubled home Abreu on a ball that was in the center fielder’s glove but bounced out when the glove hit the wall.

The Astros added three runs in the sixth inning on a Kyle Tucker homer, his 11th of the season that sailed 447 feet.

They added another in the eighth on a Julks single, scoring Jake Meyers.

And for the coup de grace, Alex Bregman hit a ninth-inning grand slammer against position-player-on-the-mound Alec Burleson. It was his third of the season and seventh of his career, tying the Astros’ career record with seven.

And while the Astros were scoring 14 runs, surprising rookie J.P. France just keeps improving. He had a seven-inning shutout, allowing four hits, two walks, only two strikeouts, but ten groundouts. His season ERA has dropped to 3.13. Rookies have started about half of the Astros’ games, and guess which one has the lowest ERA?

The Astros had 18 hits, including three each by Alex Bregman, Yainer Diaz, and Corey Julks. But a cautionary note: The Cardinals are 24th in MLB in ERA.

Oh yeah. With a 14-run lead, Rafael Montero had two scoreless innings.

The Astros go to S. Oklahoma tomorrow five games behind in the AL West. The Astros’ Ronel Blanco faces Jon Gray. The pitching matchup favors the Mall Cops, but if the Astros can continue their current hot hitting, I wouldn’t want to be a Rangers pitcher after the Astros have accrued two straight 10+ run games.

Box score HERE.