By design, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny employed his third second baseman of the three-game series in Houston. Tyler Greene got his chance on Sunday and made the most of it.
Batting from the No. 8 spot in the lineup, Greene hit two homers and added a double. He drove in four runs, scored three more and added a stolen base for good measure as St. Louis avoided a sweep of the three-game series, salvaging an 8-1 win at Minute Maid Park.
And as if that wasn't enough, Greene turned in some stellar glove work at second base.
St. Louis first baseman Allen Craig also provided punch from the cleanup spot with a homer, double and three RBIs.
The Cardinals scored early and often. A first-inning run was no surprise. St. Louis has scored in the first inning in six consecutive games. It was a surprise, however, that leadoff hitter Rafael Furcal was not involved. The Cardinals shortstop had led off six straight games with a hit but saw that streak snapped when he opened Sunday's game with a fly out to right.
So Craig picked up the slack, drilling a 2-1 pitch into the left-field seats for a two-out, two-run homer, scoring Matt Holliday, who walked. It was Craig's first hit in the series, after an 0-for-3 start, and first homer of the season.
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