HOUSTON — Allen Craig hit a home run and had a season-high four hits with three RBIs, and Carlos Beltran and David Freese both added a home run to help the St. Louis Cardinals get back on track by rolling to a 13-5 win over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.
The Cardinals managed just seven runs combined in a three-game sweep by the Texas Rangers, the first time they were swept this season. On Tuesday, they piled up the same number of runs in the fourth inning alone, powered by a three-run triple by Matt Carpenter.
Jake Westbrook (4-2) didn't allow a hit until the sixth inning and yielded four hits and four runs in six innings in his third start since coming off the disabled list.
Matt Dominguez got Houston's first hit of the game on a towering home run to left field. Brett Wallace added a two-run triple in that inning in his first game back from Triple-A.
Houston starter Lucas Harrell (5-8) entered the game with a 1.73 ERA in four starts this month, but things went wrong quickly. He allowed seven hits and seven runs with four walks in 3 1/3 innings.
Craig extended his hitting streak to seven games with a single to start the second before Matt Holliday ended an 0 for 11 slump with a single. Adams grounded into a double play before Harrell walked Freese. He escaped the jam when Jon Jay grounded into a force out to end the inning.
Harrell struck out the side in the third before trouble began in the fourth.
Beltran opened the fourth with a double and scored on a single by Craig to make it 1-0. Holliday and Matt Adams walked before a one-out, bases-loaded walk by Jay made it 2-0.
Pete Kozma's RBI single pushed the lead to 3-0. Carpenter's three-run triple sailed just out of reach of a diving Justin Maxwell in right-center and left St. Louis up 6-0. Maxwell crashed violently into the grass on the play and was taken out of the game and replaced by J.D. Martinez. The team said Maxwell had a concussion.
A run-scoring single by Yadier Molina wrapped up the scoring for that inning and chased Harrell. He was replaced by Dallas Keuchel, who struck out the next two batters to end the inning.
Chris Carter walked to start the second inning, but Westbrook got back on track after that, retiring the next 12 batters. The Astros didn't have another baserunner until the homer by Dominguez to start the sixth.
Barnes walked and Jose Altuve singled before the triple by Wallace scored them to make it 9-3.
Houston got within 9-4 on a sacrifice fly by Jason Castro. Carlos Pena doubled with two outs, but Westbrook limited the damage by retiring Martinez.
Beltran launched a 73 mph curveball into the Crawford Boxes in left field for a two-run home run — his 18th of the season — to make it 9-0 in the sixth inning.
Freese pushed the lead to 11-4 when he hit his fifth homer of the season off Travis Blackley in the seventh.
Craig's two-run homer off Josh Fields made it 13-4 in the eighth.
Houston added a run on an RBI single by Ronny Cedeno in the ninth.