Cardinals 4, Astros 1: Kyle Lohse tossed seven shutout innings and added an RBI double in the fifth as St. Louis extended its lead in the race for the National League's second wild card while handing visiting Houston its second consecutive 100-loss season.
Jon Jay followed Lohse's RBI double with one of his own and added a two-out run-scoring single in the seventh inning. Daniel Descalso had an RBI single as the Cardinals won for only the fourth time in 12 contests to move 1 1/2 games ahead of Los Angeles, which was rained out against Washington earlier on Tuesday.
After having an eight-game winning streak snapped in his last outing, Lohse (15-3) was simply masterful against the Astros. The right-hander scattered four hits and struck out five en route to his fifth scoreless outing of the season.
Staked to a 1-0 advantage against Fernando Abad (0-5), Lohse followed Pete Kozma's one-out triple by chopping the ball over the drawn-in infield and down the left-field line. Lohse didn't have long to wait on second base as Jay followed with an RBI double to left-center field give St. Louis a 3-0 advantage.
Brett Wallace had an RBI single against Mitchell Boggs in the eighth inning before Jason Motte retired the side in order in the ninth for his 36th save.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Cardinals 1B Allen Craig saw his 10-game hitting streak come to an end after going 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts. ... Jay has enjoyed an 11-game hitting streak at Busch Stadium, going 25-for-51 since Aug. 19. ... St. Louis recorded its sixth straight victory over Houston while the Astros failed in their bid for their first three-game winning streak since May 21-25.