ST. LOUIS(AP) Thanks to
, the St. Louis Cardinals are surviving quite nicely during
' 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
's eighth-inning single in a 4-3 victory over the
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.''
'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
(2-1) tied it. He advanced to third on a wild pitch and
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.
on a called third strike with two men on to end the eighth and
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
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
said. ''When you go through a streak like that, it's tough to get a guy out.''
The Astros got three straight singles off
with two outs in the eighth, and Kata's third pinch-hit in his last seven at-bats put them ahead 3-2.
's 20th homer, and seventh in 11 games, tied it at 2 against
in the seventh. The Cardinals missed a chance to take the lead when Bourn, the center fielder, threw out
trying to score from second on
's two-out hit off
, recalled from Triple-A Memphis to take
'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
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
(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
(social anxiety disorder) from the 15-day DL on Saturday and are likely to option Boggs to Memphis.