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Final Score: Cardinals 4 Astros 1

The Bottom Line:

— The St. Louis Cardinals (78-70) defeated the Houston Astros (48-100) on Tuesday night by a score of 4-1. Should the Los Angeles Dodgers lose Tuesday, the Cards will move up to two games ahead for the second spot in the National League wild card. Should they win, they will remain at one game ahead.

— The Cards struck first as Daniel Descalso hit an RBI-single in the second inning, giving the Redbirds a 1-0 lead.

Kyle Lohse (15-3) gave up no earned runs over 7 innings of work. He gave up 4 hits and 2 walks while collecting 5 strikeouts. He also hit an RBI double in the fifth inning to extend the Cardinals’ lead to 2-0.

Jon Jay hit his sixteenth double of the year to drive in Kyle Lohse and give the Cards a 3-0 lead. He added an RBI-single in the seventh to make the score 4-0.

Mitchell Boggs returned after sitting for the majority of the road trip with back stiffness and gave 1 earned run and 3 hits. Jason Motte threw a scoreless ninth and earned his 36th save on the season.

I wrote this morning that the Cardinals had to start this home stand with a good start considering the teams they’re facing, and that’s exactly what they did tonight. Kyle Lohse threw his league-leading 21st start of throwing at least six innings and giving up no more than two runs and was extremely effective tonight, earning his 15th victory on the season. And good for Jon Jay, who was just written about this morning by Keith Law who labeled Jay as one of his five players that he was wrong about in 2012. He has grown to be an above-average center fielder and is a consistent threat at the plate.He currently has a nine-game hitting streak.

Boggs’ return was notable tonight as he and Edward Mujica have been the two arms carrying this Cardinals bullpen throughout the second half. While Trevor Rosenthal and Shelby Miller have been pleasant surprises thus far, Boggs’ performance over the next two weeks will have a tremendous impact on these final 14 games of the season.

What’s Next: The Cardinals look to make it three straight as they take on the Houston Astros for the middle game of this three-game set on Wednesday night. First pitch is at 7:15PM CST and can be seen on Fox Sports Midwest. As always, all pre and post game information can be found on CardsBlog.

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