Cardinals’ playoff run slows down at Houston

Cardinals’ playoff run slows down at Houston

Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2012 7:00 pm

By KRISTIE RIEKEN
AP Sports Writer
HOUSTON (AP) — Houston’s Bud Norris had waited more than four long months since his previous win.
The last few minutes of that wait may have been the toughest.
Norris pitched into the eighth inning for his first win since May 21, and Jose Altuve homered and the Astros avoided a sweep with a 2-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals, who are vying for the second NL wild card, on Wednesday night.
After he left the game he stood nervously in the dugout fidgeting as he watched Wilton Lopez work a five-out save to complete the three-hitter and guarantee Norris the victory.
“It means a lot. It’s been a long year for me,” Norris said of getting the win. “I’ve dealt with a lot of little things here and there. Blister, to hip flexor to knee to scalp, it’s just been a frustrating year on that part … so to win meant a lot.”
Norris (6-13) allowed two hits and struck out seven without a walk in a season-high 71⁄3 innings to snap a career-long 12-game losing streak which spanned 18 starts in the last National League game in Houston with the Astros moving to the American League West for 2013.
The victory broke a 10-game winning streak for the Cardinals over Houston and cut their lead over Los Angeles and Milwaukee to 31⁄2 games for the second NL wild card spot after both teams won Wednesday.
Lopez got his eighth save, and Norris clapped his hands once and smiled after the final out.
Interim Houston manager Tony DeFrancesco was happy to see Norris get back in the win column.
“That’s a guy we’re hoping to be a No. 1 starter,” he said. Published in The Messenger 9.27.12

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