refused to get down after missing the opportunity to drive in a run with the
trailing by one and the bases loaded in the seventh inning Wednesday night.
He just hoped to get another chance.
Tejada singled in the winning run with two outs in the ninth inning, helping the Astros beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-3 to
complete a three-game sweep of their NL Central rival.
''In the seventh I was out with the bases loaded so I just put it in my mind that it doesn't matter what you do at one at-bat,
more at-bats are coming,'' Tejada said calling the hit his favorite as an Astro. ''When I (came) up in the ninth in that situation
I just said: 'I've got to help my team here and try to be the guy.'''
Trailing 3-2 entering the ninth,
led off with a single against Cardinals closer
and scored when
, subbing for the injured
, doubled on a long fly to center field that was just out of the reach of
Tejada was mobbed by most of his teammates near the mound after his hit.
The win pulled the Astros within a game of the Central-leading Cardinals after trailing by six games a month ago and nine
on May 31.
''This is the closest we've been to the top since I've been here,'' Astros manager
said. ''It feels good.''
Tony La Russa
was unhappy his team let this one get away.
''We thought we were going to get a really good win, but we ended up with a tough loss,'' he said.
isn't surprised by the Astros turnaround. After all, he's seen it before.
''We've been doing this since I got here,'' he said. ''The first half is played to keep close, the second half is to gain
ground and maybe catch up and go ahead by the end.''
The runs were the first allowed Franklin (2-1) in 18 innings. He allowed four hits.
''You know you are not going to be perfect,'' Franklin said. ''You know you are going to struggle every once in a while. And
when you do, you just can't go out there and get some work in, and it's OK if you give up a few runs. That's a problem. If
you give up runs, you lose.''
(1-2) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win.
The game was tied 1-all in the seventh when
beat the throw home on a single by
to give St. Louis the lead.
's sacrifice fly scored
and made it 3-1.
Kaz Matsui's bases-loaded single in the seventh pulled Houston to 3-2, but
got out of the jam when Tejada flew out to end the inning.
Berkman, who was out of the starting lineup with a calf strain, hitting for Oswalt, got a single to load the bases before
DeRosa's solo homer in the fifth inning put St. Louis ahead 1-0. It was his third home run since being traded from Cleveland
after he hit a pair Tuesday.
''He is a tremendous player, and we were really excited to get him,'' La Russa said. ''This is what he has done his whole
career, get big hits. So keep him healthy and he'll really help us.''
Carpenter allowed eight hits and struck out five before he was replaced by Franklin for the ninth.
doubled in the sixth before Rasmus reached on a fielder's choice where Schumaker was thrown out at third. La Russa didn't
like the call and argued with the third base umpire for a bit before returning to the dugout.
The Astros got out of that inning when
grounded into a double play.
Houston tied it 1-1 in the sixth when
grounded into a force out that scored
Oswalt allowed seven hits and three runs in seven innings after throwing a complete game in his last start.
NOTES: St. Louis traded outfielder
Boston Red Sox
on Wednesday for shortstop
and cash. Duncan has struggled since June 29, going 1 for 31 with no RBIs. ... Astros RHP
, on the disabled list with muscle spasms, threw a bullpen on Wednesday and Cooper said he was feeling good.