Series: Game 1 of 3

Houston leads 1-0 (as of 4/11)

Game 1: Friday, April 11
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Game 2: Saturday, April 12
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Game 3: Sunday, April 13
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Cardinals 2

(4-5, 1-3 away)

Astros 3

(7-2, 5-2 home)

    8:05 PM ET, April 11, 2003

    Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas 

    123456789 R H E
    STL 200000000 2 7 0
    HOU 001000002 3 6 0

    W: O. Dotel (1-1)

    L: M. Morris (0-1)

    Kent hits game-winning HR off Morris in ninth

    HOUSTON (AP) -- Jeff Kent hit a two-run homer off Matt Morris with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning Friday night, giving the Houston Astros a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

    Kent's second homer of the season ruined a splendid pitching performance by Morris (0-1), who retired 17 of 18 batters before Lance Berkman's two-out infield single in the ninth.

    Kent then sent a 3-1 pitch over the left-center field fence to give Houston a thrilling win in the opener of a three-game series between teams that have combined for the last seven NL Central titles.

    Octavio Dotel (1-1) worked a scoreless ninth for the victory.

    Jeff Bagwell's solo homer in the third inning was one of six hits allowed by Morris. He struck out five and walked one.

    Jim Edmonds hit his third homer of the season -- all against Houston -- in the first inning off Brian Moehler. Scott Rolen added an RBI double for the Cardinals, who have lost three straight and five of six.

    Kent, the 2000 NL MVP, signed an $18.2 million, two-year contract with the Astros in the offseason. He is batting .306 with five RBI.

    Morris shut out the Astros for eight innings in his last start but did not get a decision.

    Edmonds went 1-for-3 and is hitting .405 with 18 homers and 42 RBIs in 49 career games against the Astros. He went 4-for-4 with two home runs, two doubles and four RBIs against the Astros in St. Louis on April 4.

    After Edmonds' homer, Albert Pujols singled to right and scored on a double by Rolen for a 2-0 lead.

    Moehler gave up six hits in five innings. Pete Munro, Brad Lidge and Dotel combined to allow just one hit in four scoreless innings the rest of the way.

    Game notes
    Rolen has hit safely in all nine Cardinals games. Richard Hidalgo also has an eight-game streak for the Astros. ... Cardinals 2B Fernando Vina was a last-minute scratch from the starting lineup. He has inflammation on his right hand and was listed as day to day. ... Edmonds played despite being slowed by a strained left calf.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press