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Date of game: 9/19/2012

Recap: St. Louis vs. Houston

St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - David Freese hit a two-run home run to help the St. Louis Cardinals take a 5-0 win over the Houston Astros in the second of three from Busch Stadium.

Yadier Molina added a solo home run, while Matt Holliday and Allen Craig each drove in a run for the Cardinals, who have won three straight.

Lance Lynn (16-7) gave up just three hits and two walks with five strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings in the win.

St. Louis sits two games ahead of the Dodgers for the final wild card spot in the National League. Los Angeles split a double-header with Washington on Wednesday.

"They've all worked hard out there all season long and it's paying off," said St. Louis manager Mike Matheny. "This is an impressive group of guys we have here and I'm real proud of them."

Lucas Harrell (10-10) was tagged for three runs on five hits with a walk and seven strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings for the Astros, who are now at 101 losses on the season.

"I felt like overall the start was really good," Harrell said. "Just a couple situations where I shouldn't have given in, I gave in and gave up a couple of home runs."

Houston got a leadoff double from Jose Altuve to start the game, but he was stranded there after Lynn set down the next three batters.

The Cardinals got the only runs they needed in the second when Craig led off with a single and Freese followed two batters later with his 20th home run of the season.

Molina's homer in the fourth, also his 20th, made it a 3-0 game.

Holliday's RBI single and a sacrifice fly from Craig in the eighth gave the Cards a 5-0 advantage.

Houston didn't get a runner past second base until the ninth inning when the team loaded the bases with one out, but Jason Motte took the mound and struck out Chris Snyder and Jimmy Paredes to end the game and pick up his 37th save of the season.

Game Notes

St. Louis has won seven straight and eight of 11 this season against Houston ... Houston batted 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left eight on base ... Harrell fell to 2-2 in five games against the Cardinals ... Lynn moved to 3-0 in four games against the Astros ... St. Louis has five batters with at least 20 home runs on the season.

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