HOUSTON (AP) - Hunter Pence hit a three-run homer and the Houston Astros completed a sweep of St. Louis with a 5-2 victory Wednesday, handing the slumping Cardinals their fifth straight defeat.
The fading Cardinals, who have lost 13 of 16, began the day seven games behind first-place Cincinnati in the NL Central.
Nelson Figueroa (4-2) pitched out of 2 bases-loaded jams and lasted five innings for the win. Brandon Lyon worked a perfect ninth for his 11 save in 12 chances.
Shut out 3-0 the previous two nights, St. Louis snapped an 18-inning scoreless streak on Matt Holliday's 24th homer in the first inning for a 2-0 lead.
Jeff Suppan (1-7) was activated from the disabled list before the game and allowed only one hit until the Astros rallied in the fifth.