HOUSTON -- Brett Myers has lasted at least six innings in each of his starts this season.
On Saturday night he had much bigger goals.Myers added another quality start to his strong season, pitching eight crisp innings to help the Houston Astros beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-1.Myers (6-6) gave up one run and five hits, struck out five and walked none. He extended his club record of starts of six innings or more to begin the season to 18 and is the only pitcher in the majors to achieve the mark in every start since the season began."You don't get many opportunities to throw complete games so you want to take them when you can get them," he said. "I should have just ran out there [in the ninth] and embarrassed everybody. That would have been funny."Pedro Feliz hit a two-run single in Houston's three-run first and Jeff Keppinger went deep for the Astros.Jeff Suppan (0-5) allowed four runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings for St. Louis.Keppinger's one-out double helped set up Houston's big first inning. With two outs and the bases loaded, Feliz singled to left and Humberto Quintero drove in Hunter Pence with a base hit to make it 3-0.Myers was happy his team got him an early lead."It definitely relaxes you a little bit, especially with the lineup that they have over there with Pujols and Holliday and the other guys they have to make things happen for them to score runs," he said. "So it's always good to be able to go out there and have a little cushion so you can get in a rhythm and start pitching."Keppinger connected in the fifth, hitting a one-out drive to left to give Houston a 4-1 lead. It was Keppinger's third homer of the season.That was enough for Myers, who retired nine of his last 10 batters. Matt Lindstrom issued two walks in the ninth before striking out rookie Jon Jay for his 21st save in 25 opportunities.Manager Brad Mills said Myers has been one of the bright spots in his team's tough season."There's no doubt," Mills said. "With all his quality starts and how deep he's gone into games. He came here with a reputation of being an innings eater and I think now he's gone and almost taken it to another level. The way he's gone about it is very special."Albert Pujols and Jay each had two hits for St. Louis. Jay extended his hitting streak to a National League-best 10 games.Pujols tripled and scored on Holliday's groundout in the fourth. It was the first triple for Pujols since last July and the 15th of his career."We got one run, but we needed to do more, even though Myers pitched well," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "He made a lot of good pitches, but we have a lot of good hitters.You give him credit, no doubt about it. But at the same time we have a lot of good hitters, so we always feel like we can break through and do something more than one run. But we didn't."After Suppan departed, Mitchell Boggs pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings for St. Louis and Jason Motte threw a perfect eighth.
Houston RHP Felipe Paulino, on the disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis, is scheduled to make a rehabilitation start for Double-A Corpus Christi on Tuesday. He is expected to throw between 60-65 pitches. ... St. Louis OF Colby Rasmus, who left the game in the middle of the eighth inning on Friday night with tightness in his right hamstring, was out of the starting lineup.