Lance Lynn (31) pitches in the second inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIRE
(The Cardinal Nation Show) -- Lance Lynn spotted the Houston Astros a run in each of the first and second innings Thursday night. But the Cardinals rallied for three runs in the third and Lynn then dropped the hammer as he continued to be one of the biggest stories in the majors.
Fanning a career-high 11 batters over six innings, the first-year starter raised his record to 9-2 in a 14-2 rout of the Astros. "The ball was jumping out of his hand," said manager Mike Matheny. "He was blowing his fastball by guys."
The Cardinals' first series win in their last four series was highlighted on the stat sheet by third baseman David Freese's two home runs, one his first career grand slam. They were good for six runs batted in and helped erase some of the sting of three more strikeouts for Freese for the second night in succession.
"I was having a tough night," he said. "This finished it off a little bit."
But the unsung hero of the win was center fielder Shane Robinson. In the third he worked a walk off left-hander J.A. Happ in a 12-pitch at-bat that seemed to wear down the Astros' starter. Robinson then added three hits, including his second homer of the season.
From a team that didn't score for 26 consecutive innings, mostly in New York, earlier in the trip, the Cardinals tallied 26 runs in the three games in Houston.
Shortstop Rafael Furcal, first baseman Allen Craig and Robinson all had three hits, and left fielder Matt Holliday and Freese had two apiece. "We needed a night where everybody participated in our offense," said Matheny.
The Cardinals won two straight games for the first time in two weeks. "Now we've got to keep putting the pedal down," said Matheny.