Final in 10

Series: Game 2 of 4

Series tied 1-1 (as of 9/13)

Game 1: Thursday, September 12
St. Louis 3Final
Houston 6
Game 2: Friday, September 13
St. Louis 3Final
in 10
Houston 2
Game 3: Saturday, September 14
St. Louis 2Final
Houston 1
Game 4: Sunday, September 15
St. Louis 0Final
Houston 8

Cardinals 3

(85-62, 41-35 away)

Astros 2

(79-69, 44-32 home)

    8:05 PM ET, September 13, 2002

    Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas 

    12345678910 R H E
    STL 0002000001 3 - -
    HOU 1010000000 2 - -

    W: R. White (3-6)

    L: T. Gordon (1-3)

    S: J. Isringhausen (30)

    Renteria singles home winning run in 10th

    HOUSTON (AP) -- The St. Louis Cardinals have built themselves a nice cushion in the NL Central.

    Craig Biggio

    The Astros' Craig Biggio tried to run over Cards catcher Mike DiFelice to score a run in the fifth.

    Edgar Renteria hit an RBI single in the 10th inning as St. Louis beat Houston 3-2 Friday night to end Roy Oswalt's nine-game winning streak and extend its lead over the second-place Astros to 6½ games.

    "We came in and played them tough,'' Cardinals second baseman Fernando Vina said. "We faced one of the best pitchers in the league and we were able to get a win.''

    Renteria had three hits and two RBI for the Cardinals, who have won eight of nine.

    Albert Pujols led off the 10th against Tom Gordon (1-3) with a double to the left-center gap. Pinch-runner Eli Marrero went to third on a throwing error by Gordon, who turned and made a pickoff throw to second with no one covering the bag.

    "There were a lot of key dramatic moments on both sides,'' Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "The pitching was just really good on both sides.''

    Marrero scored on Renteria's ground single to left.

    "I was trying to hit a flyball but he threw me a sinker,'' Renteria said. "I knew these games would be close, with Oswalt pitching. He's one of the best pitchers in the National League. I didn't think we'd score many runs, so we had to play good defense and we did.''

    Rick White (3-6) pitched two innings for the victory. Jason Isringhausen worked the 10th for his 30th save in 34 chances.

    Oswalt had won nine straight starts. The Cardinals kept him from becoming the seventh Astros pitcher to win 20 games in a season.

    "It's big,'' Oswalt said. "The thing for us was to sweep this series. Now we've got to take the next two and hopefully go there (St. Louis) and sweep them there.''

    Oswalt got a no-decision and threw a season-high 120 pitches. He allowed eight hits, struck out seven and walked three before leaving with the score tied at 2 after seven innings.

    Oswalt has not lost since July 16 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    Back-to-back defensive plays by J.D. Drew kept the score tied at 2 in the fifth inning. Craig Biggio led off with a double and Lance Berkman walked before Drew retreated to the right-field wall and made a perfectly timed leap to deny Jeff Bagwell a three-run homer.

    Daryle Ward then flied out to Drew, who threw out Biggio at the plate to end the inning.

    "Those plays Drew made in the one inning, they were two defensive plays that really stopped us,'' Astros manager Jimy Williams said. "It's always about pitching and defense. We got a lot of good pitching from both sides. We had our chances.''

    Oswalt escaped the seventh and kept the score tied at 2 when Pujols hit into a double play with no outs and two runners on and Scott Rolen flied out.

    The Astros loaded the bases with no outs in the first inning off Jason Simontacchi, who gave up a single to Brian Hunter, hit Biggio with a pitch and allowed a single by Lance Berkman.

    The right-hander escaped with just one run. After Bagwell took a called third strike, Daryle Ward hit an RBI single, Mark Loretta popped out and Jose Vizcaino grounded out.

    The Astros loaded the bases again in the third inning with one out but got only one run again for a 2-0 lead. Mark Loretta hit a sacrifice fly, and Berkman was thrown out trying to go to third base on the same play.

    The Cardinals tied it at 2 in the fourth on Rolen's RBI double to left field and a run-scoring single by Renteria.

    Game notes

    Vina has reached base in 51 of his last 57 games since the All-Star break. He doubled to start the game. ... Hunter ended the third inning with a diving catch in center field on a sinking drive by Drew.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press