ST. LOUIS (AP) Kyle Tucker homered and drove in five runs, Alex Bregman hit his third grand slam this season and the Houston Astros blew out Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals 14-0 on Thursday night.
Houston had 18 hits, its most since Sept. 10, 2019, against Oakland. Bregman, Yainer Diaz and Corey Julks had three hits each.
“You got to have that mindset that hey, you know, every run could be the run that’s the deciding run in that game,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “And you know, you don’t want to show anybody up or embarrass them, but you want to get yours too.”
It was the Astros’ largest shutout win since a 15-0 victory over the Athletics on Sept. 9, 2019. It was the Cardinals’ largest shutout loss at home since a 15-0 setback against San Francisco on Aug. 8, 2012.
Tucker hit a two-run single in a six-run second that included Jose Altuve’s go-ahead single, José Abreu’s two-run double and Diaz’s RBI double. Tucker added a three-run homer in the sixth off Jake Woodford, a 447-foot drive to right.
“I think the last couple of days we’ve been putting good at-bats together, stringing them together all day long,” Bregman said. “I think the last few days have been really good and let’s keep it rolling.”
Bregman’s slam was his seventh, tying Jose Altuve and Carlos Lee for most in Astros history. The drive came off outfielder Alec Burleson, the first Cardinals position player to pitch since Corey Dickerson last Sept. 23.
“My teammates are doing a good job getting on base front of me,” Bregman said. “That’s how you get RBIs.”
Wainwright (3-3) gave up six runs, six hits and three walks in 1 2/3 innings, his shortest start since a 15-7 loss to Baltimore on June 17, 2017. Wainwright’s ERA rose to 7.45 following his second straight poor outing. He gave up seven runs in three innings against the Cubs in London last weekend.
“He’s a competitor who’s having a tough time navigating the lineup at the moment,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “It’s expected to be upset and he’s never been more determined to figure out a way out of it so that’s where we’re at.”
Marmol said Wainwright will take his next turn.
“I’m trying to compartmentalize these two starts you know and build off of other things I’ve done well and you know get better at the things I haven’t done well,” Wainwright said. “But I’m not executing well. I mean, that’s plain and simple. I’ve gotten outs with worse stuff before than what I had tonight.”
J.P. France (3-3) allowed four hits in seven innings and Rafael Montero got six straight outs, finishing Houston’s fifth shutout this season. The Cardinals were blanked for the eighth time and were held to four hits or fewer for the ninth time.
“Even the sixth spot that we had in the second, obviously we want more, but in my head I was like OK, that’s all I need,” France said. “It was awesome to be able to have that run support and have those bats come alive.”
Jordan Walker extended his hitting streak to 17 games, tying Albert Pujols (2001) for second-longest by a Cardinals rookie. St. Louis has lost four of six, dropping to 33-47.
FACE IN THE CROWD
Los Angeles Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue was at the game. Lue was born in Mexico, Missouri, about 100 miles northwest of St. Louis.
Astros: OF Yordan Alvarez (right oblique strain) is hitting off a tee and hitting soft toss as he moves closer to going out on a minor league rehabilitation assignment.
Cardinals: 3B Nolan Arenado (lower back tightness) was limited to the designated hitter role and went 1 for 2 after being removed from Wednesday’s game. He hopes to return to the field this weekend.
Astros: RHP Ronel Blanco (1-0) starts Friday’s series opener at the Texas Rangers and RHP Sonny Gray (6-3, 2.89 ERA).
Cardinals: LHP Matthew Liberatore (1-2, 5.60 ERA) starts Friday night in the first game of a three-game series against the New York Yankees, who go with RHP Luis Severino (1-2, 5.25 ERA).
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