BUSCH STADIUM
FINAL
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
ASTROS
1 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0  
CARDINALS
0 0 0 1 0 0 1 2 x  
R H E
3 10 1
4 10 2
WINNING PITCHER
T. Miller Miller
#43 LHP
3-0, 1.98 ERA
0.1 Innings
0 ER
LOSING PITCHER
Arias A. Arias
#50 RHP
2-1, 2.33 ERA
1.0 Innings
2 ER

ST. LOUIS(AP) Thanks to Matt Holliday , the St. Louis Cardinals are surviving quite nicely during Albert Pujols ' post-All-Star break slump.

Holliday had four hits for the second time in his eight games with his new team, one of them foiling an intentional walk to Pujols, and scored the go-ahead run on Rick Ankiel 's eighth-inning single in a 4-3 victory over the Houston Astros on Friday night.

''I've had some times in my career where I've had a bunch of hits,'' Holliday said. ''You try to just keep thinking about the next day. Come prepared, get ready and hit a couple of balls hard. Adding days up.''

Pinch-hitter Matt Kata 's RBI single put Houston ahead in the top of the eighth, before the Cardinals rallied for two runs in the bottom half.

Holliday's RBI double off Alberto Arias (2-1) tied it. He advanced to third on a wild pitch and Ryan Ludwick was intentionally walked before Ankiel's opposite-field hit helped the Cardinals win for the fourth time in five games.

Pujols carried the offense the first half of the season. But he's a quiet 12 for 53 (.226) with only three RBIs in 14 games since hitting two homers in the first game after the break. He was 0 for 2 Friday, scoring the tying run in the eighth after getting hit by a pitch.

Trever Miller (3-0) froze Michael Bourn on a called third strike with two men on to end the eighth and Ryan Franklin worked around a leadoff single by Kaz Matsui in the ninth for his 24th save in 26 chances.

Holliday was 4 for 4 and had an RBI single in the fourth, duplicating his four-hit game in Philadelphia a week ago in his St. Louis debut. He is batting .586 (17 for 29) with a homer and eight RBIs since joining the Cardinals in a trade from Oakland. He is the first Cardinal to hit in his first eight games with the team since Roger Maris in 1967, and he is the first Cardinal since 1954 to reach base safely two or more times in his first eight games.

''You want to have an opportunity to affect the game and try to have good at-bats, that's the goal,'' Holliday said. ''Hopefully every at-bat I have is a competitive one where I'm totally focused and have a game plan and stick to it.''

Holliday is a .439 career hitter at 4-year-old Busch Stadium with six homers and 12 RBIs.

''We threw a couple of good pitches and he was able to hit them for a couple of base hits,'' Astros catcher Ivan Rodriguez said. ''When you go through a streak like that, it's tough to get a guy out.''

The Astros got three straight singles off Brad Thompson with two outs in the eighth, and Kata's third pinch-hit in his last seven at-bats put them ahead 3-2.

Mark DeRosa 's 20th homer, and seventh in 11 games, tied it at 2 against Brian Moehler in the seventh. The Cardinals missed a chance to take the lead when Bourn, the center fielder, threw out Jason LaRue trying to score from second on Skip Schumaker 's two-out hit off Wesley Wright .

Mitchell Boggs , recalled from Triple-A Memphis to take Todd Wellemeyer 's spot in the rotation, had trouble qualifying for a decision just as in an earlier stint with the Cardinals. Boggs threw 99 pitches, 44 of them balls, while walking five and striking out five in five innings and left trailing 2-1.

''We had a lot of opportunities early in the game and didn't cash them in,'' Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. ''Those things usually come back to haunt you and they did tonight.''

In his last three starts dating to May 6, Boggs has allowed 20 hits and 12 walks in 13 2-3 innings yet has kept the Cardinals in the game by allowing only five runs.

Moehler gave up two runs and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings. He beat the Cardinals July 20 in Houston and is 5-0 in nine career starts against them.

NOTES: Cardinals SS Brendan Ryan (bruised left ankle) is likely to miss the next few games while swelling subsides. He was injured fouling off a pitch on Thursday. ... Wright made his first appearance since being treated for dehydration after allowing three runs and walking five in 2 1-3 innings Tuesday at Chicago. ... The Cardinals plan to activate IF Khalil Greene (social anxiety disorder) from the 15-day DL on Saturday and are likely to option Boggs to Memphis.