ST. LOUIS (AP) The Houston Astros have won nine straight with Doug Fister on the mound. The right-hander did more than his part in this one.
Fister pitched effectively into the eighth inning and gave his team breathing room with a two-run single in the seventh in a 5-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.
''We always talk about it being fun for a pitcher to hit, but I really take it seriously,'' Fister said. ''Sure, it felt good.''
Colby Rasmus hit his 150th career homer in his first game back in St. Louis since 2011.
''It was a feeling I've felt before and it was a good feeling, and now I'm on the other side of the coin, but it's all good,'' said Rasmus, a former St. Louis first-round draft pick. ''I just wanted to come out and be myself and enjoy the moment, not get too caught up in this or that.''
Fister had been 0 for 2 on the season before hitting the first pitch from reliever Seung Hwan Oh up the middle to put the Astros ahead by three in the seventh.
The Cardinals had been anticipating a pinch-hitter.
''Who knew their pitcher was going to come up and put together the kind of at-bat nobody else in the league has really been able to against Oh all season?'' manager Mike Matheny said. ''He doesn't put it up on a tee for anybody.''
Matt Adams and Brandon Moss homered for the Cardinals, whose season-best five-game winning streak ended. They totaled just five hits off Fister and three relievers.
Fister (7-3) allowed two runs and five hits in 7 1-3 innings, his longest outing of the season, to win his sixth consecutive decision.
''I don't even typically know those things,'' Fister said. ''I look at it day to day and know our guys are going out there fighting.''
The hit was Fister's first since Aug. 14, 2015, and gave the pitcher four career RBIs. His last RBI came in 2013, for Detroit.
The Astros' 6-7-8 hitters were a combined 6 for 7 against Jaime Garcia (4-6). Rasmus also singled, Carlos Gomez singled and scored twice and Marwin Gonzalez singled and doubled with an RBI.
Fister retired 14 straight after Adams homered leading off the second, a streak that ended on Moss' 15th homer in the sixth that cut the Astros' lead to 3-2. Moss, among five left-handed hitters in the lineup, has four homers in his last seven games.
''If you hit, the at-bats will be there,'' Moss said.
Garcia has lost four of his last five decisions. The lefty is 2-6 with a 6.15 ERA in 10 career starts against Houston, the last victory coming in 2012, and his initial assessment of the latest one was ''terrible.''
''Everybody needs encouragement, I don't care who you are,'' Matheny said. ''But he shouldn't doubt the kind of pitcher he can be. When he's right he can be as good as anybody in the game.''
Will Harris worked a perfect ninth for his fourth save in as many chances.
The Astros are making their first trip to St. Louis since the hacking scandal of the team's data base last year.
Astros: SS Carlos Correa (left ankle) returned to the lineup after missing three games. He was 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.
Cardinals: Reliever Seth Maness (elbow) and C Brayan Pena (knee) remain on rehab assignments with Double-A Springfield with no firm call-up plans.
Astros: Collin McHugh lasted just 3 2-3 innings his last start, allowing four runs in a loss at Texas. He has a 9.49 ERA in the first inning.
Cardinals: Adam Wainwright is 13-1 with a 1.57 ERA in his career against Houston, including seven victories his last seven outings. He had a season-high nine strikeouts last time out in a victory at Cincinnati.