Pujols Powers Cards to Walk-Off Win
Orlando Palmeiro responded with a two-run single in the fourth to give the Astros the lead, 3-2. Yadier Molina tied it in the bottom half with an RBI single. The Cards took the lead in the fifth when Juan Encarnacion drove in Scott Spiezio.
The Astros regained the lead in the sixth thanks to a two-run homer by Chris Burke which chased Weaver. He left after five-plus innings allowing five runs on seven hits. Astros starter Andy Pettitte left in the third inning with a strained elbow, which forced the Astros to use six additional pitchers.
The Cards were faced with an all-too-familiar obstacle, formulating a ninth-inning comeback against Astros closer Brad Lidge. John Rodriguez singled to lead off the ninth and was replaced by pinch-runner Skip Schumaker. After Schumacher was sacrificed to second and Preston Wilson struck out, Lidge put the go-ahead run on base by hitting Scott Spiezio.
Pujols drove a two-run double down the left field line to send the Busch Stadium faithful home happy. Lidge blew his sixth save and dropped to 1-5 on the season. Braden Looper earned his ninth win for the Cardinals.
The two playoff hopefuls conclude the three-game series Wednesday afternoon when Jason Marquis of the Cardinals takes on Roy Oswalt.