The Cardinals Take The Series From Houston

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Braden Looper works during the first inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Sunday, May 6, 2007 in St. Louis. Looper allowed a run in six innings helping the Cardinals beat the Astros 3-1.

Behind starting pitcher Braden Looper, the Cardinals took two of three from the struggling Houston Astros on Sunday with a 3-1 victory in front of a sold out hometown crowd of 44,483 at Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals have now won five of his seven games this season since Looper began his turn as a starting pitcher. Sunday Looper didn't have his best stuff, throwing 100 pitches with only 59 for strikes, but he did a good job working with what he had on the day.

Adam Kennedy had three hits today in the leadoff spot. It was his first three-hit game of the 2007 season and his fifth multi-hit game on the year.

Kennedy is the fifth different player in the last five games (Schumaker, Taguchi, Wilson, Spiezio, Kennedy) to leadoff for St. Louis and his performance at the plate Sunday was the best of the lot.

Shortstop David Eckstein who was moved out of the leadoff spot for the first time since October of 2004, batted in the eighth hole Sunday, went 1-for-3 to raise his season batting average to .220.

In his post game comments, St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa made it clear to the media, "David Eckstein is our leadoff guy, he's coming back there."

Third baseman Scott Rolen hit a single that drove in two in the fourth inning to include the game winning RBI to snap an 0-for-23 streak that dated back to the third inning of the team's game on April 27 against the Chicago Cubs.

Anthony Reyes still looking for his first win this season will make his sixth start tomorrow night against the Colorado Rockies.

Reyes' 0.64 runs support average is the lowest among all of baseball, with the team just scoring a total of six runs in his five games started and only two while he was on the mound.

The Cardinals generated just enough offense to take the game and the series. When St. Louis scored in the fourth inning, it broke a 15-inning scoreless streak dating back to Friday night's 3-2 win over the Astros.

Reliever Russ Springer pitched a scoreless seventh inning to earn his first Hold on the season. Springer has an active 11-game, 8.2 scoreless streak.

Closer Jason Isringhausen picked up his eighth save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning for his 257th save of his career.

Today's save moves Isringhausen past Todd Worrell for 24th on baseball's all-time list. He is currently 18 saves behind Detroit Tigers' pitcher Todd Jones at 23rd on the all-time saves list and is the Cardinals all-time saves leader with 181.

Prior to today's game, the Cardinals called up reliever Brian Falkenborg and OF Ryan Ludwick from Memphis and sent down reliever Dennis Dove and placed outfielder Preston Wilson on the Disabled List.

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