Cards Drop 13th Out of Last 16
The Cardinals finally broke through in the top of the fourth, when Jim Edmonds' two-run homer put them on top, 2-1.
Houston came back, however, scoring twice in the bottom of the fourth. Preston Wilson reached second base on ball through the legs of Cardinals' second baseman Aaron Miles, which scored Chris Burke. Lance Berkman then scored on a double-play groundout by Morgan Ensberg to put the Astros in the lead, 3-2.
Wilson singled in an insurance run in the eighth to make it 4-2. Brad Lidge pitched a perfect ninth for his 21st save. Buchholz improved his record to 6-6 with six innings of two-run, three-hit work.
Ponson took the tough-luck loss and dropped to 4-4, after giving up three runs, two unearned, on four hits in six innings.
The Cardinals and Astros match up again Friday night in the second of four from Houston. Jason Marquis takes the mound for the Redbirds against Wandy Rodriguez.