The surprising Houston Astros look to sweep their second consecutive series on Sunday when they face the St. Louis Cardinals, who have lost three straight. Houston extended its winning streak to five games on Saturday with an 8-2 win over St. Louis, which was held to six singles. The Astros’ win streak is the team’s longest since winning five in a row in late 2010.
The Cardinals are 6-6 in their last 12 games after starting the season 10-4, but they still hold a 2 1/2-game lead in the National League Central. Shortstop Rafael Furcal has begun six consecutive games with a hit, and he’s besting all National League leadoff batters with his .333 batting average and 21 runs scored. Jon Jay has also been a pleasant surprise with his stellar defense in center field and a .405 batting average.
Cardinals Astros Betting
When: 2:05 PM ET, Sunday, May 6, 2012
Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas
TV: 2:05 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Midwest (St. Louis), FSH (Houston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Adam Wainwright (1-3, 6.75 ERA) vs. Astros RH J.A. Happ (2-1, 4.60 ERA)
Wainwright is 9-1 with a 1.56 ERA in 11 career starts (17 appearances) against Houston, and he’s thrown 24 straight scoreless innings against the Astros. After missing all of last season due to an elbow injury, Wainwright failed to get past the first six innings in his initial three starts. He gave up four runs over seven innings against Pittsburgh last Tuesday.
Happ allowed three runs on six hits with seven strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings last Tuesday against the Mets – and he has a 31-to-12 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his first five starts. Carlos Beltran is 6-for-16 (.375) with two home runs against Happ.
1. The Cardinals have scored in the opening inning in each of their last five games.
2. Lance Berkman (calf) is eligible to come off the disabled list, but he likely won’t be activated until at least Monday.
3. Aneury Rodriguez will be promoted from Triple-A Oklahoma City to start for the Astros on Tuesday in place of Kyle Weiland, who is out indefinitely after shoulder surgery.