With the score knotted up at four to four, going into the top of the 10th inning, the reigning National League MVP and All-Star, Albert Pujols put the Cardinals ahead with a home run off of all people, Houston starter, Roy Oswalt.
Oswalt was making his first relief appearance since Aug. 24, 2004 gave up the home run to right field on his second pitch to Pujols. It was Pujols' 29th homer of the season and gave the Cardinals consecutive victories for the first time since winning three straight June 16-18.
It was the third of four games between St. Louis and Houston this weekend heading into the All-Star Break. Going into Saturday's game the Astros held a 3-1 advantage over the Redbirds here at Minute Maid Park this season after a 1-1 series so far and a two-game sweep over the Cardinals May 3-4.
St. Louis took the three game series at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, two games to one.
The Cardinals had lost 13 of their last 17 games and were in jeopardy of falling out of first place in the NL Central Division if Houston could take three out of four or even sweep the struggling Redbirds.
The big pitching match-up that many expected between the rookie Anthony Reyes and the superstar Roger Clemens never materialized.
Roger Clemens, vying for his 343rd career win, received a no-decision after leaving with the score tied at 4 through six innings. The seven-time Cy Young winner allowed two earned runs and six hits. He struck out three and walked one in his just his fourth start of the season.
On the other side, Reyes allowed five hits and four runs with four strikeouts and three walks in five innings. He didn't pitch lights out but he kept the Cardinals in the game through five innings, but didn't figure into the decision.
National League saves leader Jason Isringhausen (3-4) pitched a perfect ninth and 10th for the to pick up win Saturday.
Chris Carpenter, the Cardinals staff ace and NL Cy Young Award winner, will make his 17th start this season and second against Houston tomorrow. Carp was credited with the loss in a 4-3 game vs. Houston at Minute Maid back on May the 4th.
After the win Saturday, the Central Division leaders, the St. Louis Cardinals, improv to 47-39, three games up on the second place Cincinnati Reds and five over Houston. The Cardinals are sure to come away with at least a split with Houston this weekend and are sure to be in first place at the break.