Renteria homered twice and matched a career high with five RBI
as St. Louis roughed up Oswalt and beat the Houston Astros 11-8
"You don't try to get home runs, they just happen,'' Renteria
said. "The first one was a good pitch. It was an inside fastball
but I was looking for it. The second home run was an outside
fastball. I wasn't looking for it, but I saw it and I got a good
swing at it.''
Renteria hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning and three-run
shot in a six-run seventh against Oswalt (1-1), who gave up a
career-high 10 runs. He is 0-2 lifetime with a 4.70 ERA in six
starts against the Cardinals.
"He's pitched really good but we've pitched good against him,''
St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said. "Today he was pitching good,
there was just that one inning.
"We haven't really beaten him. Today is the first day we've
really gotten any runs off him.''
The Cardinals took two of three in a series between teams that
have combined for the last seven NL Central titles. The Astros won
both meetings last weekend in St. Louis.
Berkman, who led the NL with 128 RBI last season, knocked in
his first run of the year with a single in the first inning.
Renteria capped the seventh-inning outburst with his third homer
of the season, giving him four career multihomer games. Renteria
also had five RBI on Sept. 4 last year against Cincinnati.
"I kind of left the ball up some,'' Oswalt said. "But that
happens. The longer you pitch the more it's going to happen. You've
got to take the good with the bad. You can't pitch well every time
you go out there.''
Kiko Calero (1-0) pitched two hitless innings for his first big
league victory, capping two days of effective bullpen work for the
"It's a big plus for us,'' La Russa said. "There is a lot of
newness there and everyone is trying to come together and get
comfortable in a role. To have two days like that here against this
club in this park could be very important to us.''
Miguel Cairo homered and drove in two runs.
"You come in here and get two of three and almost three games,
and you face Oswalt on the last day, you just battle,'' Cairo said.
"He was ahead for five innings but we just battled to the end and
we didn't give up.''
Oswalt allowed 10 runs -- five earned -- and nine hits in 6 2/3
innings. He walked three and struck out eight.
"His stuff was good, but his location hurt him, especially in
that last inning,'' Houston manager Jimy Williams said. "Usually
if you score eight runs with Oswalt on the mound, you've got a
pretty good chance to win.''
Astros shortstop Jose Vizcaino made a big throwing error in the
seventh, and the Cardinals also got an RBI double from Tino
Oswalt had control problems from the start. Cairo's sacrifice
fly in the second gave St. Louis its first run. Renteria homered in
the fourth after Albert Pujols walked. Scott Rolen's RBI double in
the fifth came after Oswalt walked Orlando Palmeiro.
Bagwell and Berkman hit consecutive homers in the third.
Simontacchi lasted only three innings in his first start on
Tuesday at Colorado, allowing five runs and seven hits over three
innings. This time, he went four innings, allowing six runs and
Bagwell hit a two-run shot off Dustin Hermanson in the ninth.
Bagwell has 28 career multihomer games, including two this season.
The other one came on opening day.
Mike Matheny had caught every inning for the Cardinals this
season until Eli Marrero started Sunday. ... Cardinals 2B Fernando
Vina sat out his third straight game with inflammation in his right
hand. ... Oswalt's five earned runs allowed equaled the most he
yielded in any start last season. ... Pujols was ejected in the
seventh inning by plate umpire Gary Darling.