Carpenter and Pujols slow down Astros

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Albert Pujols hit a three-run homer and Chris Carpenter slowed the Houston bats in the St. Louis Cardinals' 8-4 victory over the Astros on Wednesday night.

Pujols connected on a 3-2 pitch from J.A. Happ and put it over the left-field wall in the second inning for his 27th home run of the season and 393rd of his career. He has homered in 3 of his last four games and moved into a tie with Cincinnati's Joey Votto for the NL lead in home runs.

Pujols, who had three hits, knocked Happ out of the game with his homer. Happ, in his second start for Houston since being acquired from Philadelphia on July 29, gave up six hits and seven earned runs in one inning.

Carpenter (12-3) allowed just two runs on four hits over 7 1-3 innings in improving to 9-2 at Busch Stadium this season.

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