HOUSTON (AP) — St. Louis starter Lance Lynn wanted to show the Houston Astros a different look in the fourth inning on Wednesday night.
It didn't go at all the way he had planned.
Lynn walked two consecutive batters to force home the first of Houston's four runs in the fourth, and the Astros held on for a 4-3 win over the Cardinals.
"It wasn't a good inning," he said. "The hits weren't the problem — it was the walks. When you walk people, you get yourself in trouble, and that's what happened. I just didn't throw strikes."
Lynn (10-2) allowed five hits, walked four and struck out four over 7 2-3 innings for his first loss in four career starts in Houston.
Erik Bedard pitched six effective innings for the last-place Astros, who had dropped three of four.
Allen Craig homered for the second straight night and Yadier Molina had a two-run shot for the Cardinals, who lost for the fourth time in five games. They dropped into a tie with surging Pittsburgh for the lead in the NL Central.
Molina and Craig helped the Cardinals get off to a nice start. Molina followed Carpenter's leadoff single in the first with a drive to the Crawford Boxes in left field for his sixth homer. Craig had a leadoff drive in the fourth that bounced off the lights atop the wall in left field, extending the lead to 3-0.
But Houston responded in the bottom half. Jose Altuve and Jason Castro got it started with back-to-back singles for the Astros' first hits of the game. Lynn then walked Chris Carter on four pitches to load the bases before sending a run home when he also walked Carlos Pena on four pitches.
Castro came home when J.D. Martinez grounded into a fielder's choice, and Brett Wallace then hit a tying RBI single. After another fielder's choice, Brandon Barnes singled in Wallace to give Houston the lead for good.