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Astros get to Garcia early in 9-8 win against Cardinals

Tuesday, June 5, 2012 | 10:32 p.m. CDT; updated 11:11 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, June 5, 2012
St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jaime Garcia (54) walks off the mound after giving up a two-run home run to Houston Astros' Justin Maxwell, left, in the second inning of a baseball game on Tuesday in Houston. Garcia pitched only two innings, giving up five hits and six runs.

HOUSTON — Justin Maxwell hit a two-run homer, Jose Altuve tied a career high with four hits and the Houston Astros got to St. Louis starter Jaime Garcia early before holding on for a 9-8 win over the Cardinals on Tuesday night.

The Astros scored four runs in the first inning and Maxwell's homer in the second stretched their lead to 6-1. Brian Bogusevic added a solo home run in the fourth and Chris Snyder drove in two runs for Houston.

Garcia (3-4) yielded five hits and the six runs he gave up tied his season high, set against the Astros earlier this season. The loss dropped the left-hander to 0-5 in seven career starts against Houston. He has allowed at least three runs in each of those starts.

Houston starter Lucas Harrell (5-4) allowed eight hits and four runs — three earned — in six innings to improve to 4-0 in five home starts this season.

Adron Chambers drove in two runs with a one-out triple off David Carpenter in the ninth inning to get St. Louis within 9-6. That brought in closer Brett Myers, who allowed a full-count, two-run homer to Rafael Furcal that closed the gap to 9-8.

Myers retired Carlos Beltran before walking Matt Holliday, but Allen Craig grounded out to end the game and give Myers his 14th save.

Matt Adams had a three-run homer in the third inning for the Cardinals, who have lost six of their last seven.

Furcal reached second base on a two-base error by Altuve to start the game. He scored on a two-out groundout by Holliday to make it 1-0.

Altuve doubled and scored on a two-out single by J.D. Martinez to tie it at 1-1 in the first. Chris Johnson and Brett Wallace drew consecutive walks to load the bases before Martinez scored on a wild pitch.

Snyder's two RBI single to left field extended Houston's lead to 4-1.

Garcia finally got out of that inning when Bogusevic grounded into a forceout.

Maxwell's two-out homer, which was his second home run in his last three at-bats, sailed into the Crawford Boxes in left field and put Houston up 6-1. His last home run came on a two-run shot Sunday as a pinch hitter. Altuve singled with one out to set up the homer which was Maxwell's fifth of the year.

It was the shortest start of the season for Garcia, who was scratched from his last start with a sore elbow. He was replaced by Maikel Cleto for the third inning.

Craig singled with two outs in the third before a double by David Freese. Adams followed with his homer to the deepest part of the ballpark in center field to get St. Louis within 6-4.

Bogusevic's homer, which bounced off the foul pole in right field, came in the fourth to push Houston's lead to 7-4.

Altuve doubled with two outs in the sixth inning and made it 8-4 when he scored on an error by rookie reliever Sam Freeman.

Back-to-back doubles by Johnson and Wallace added a run for the Astros in the seventh inning.


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