Right-hander Kyle Lohse failed to join Lance Lynn as St. Louis starters to open their seasons at 5-0.
Lohse was not quite his April self as he allowed five runs in five innings to the Houston Astros on Friday night. However, two of those runs were unearned, and perhaps just one of the five should have scored if the Cardinals' defense had performed better.
On the other hand, Lohse pointed to the three-run homer he gave up to Jose Altuve in the second inning, the difference-maker in a 5-4 Houston victory.
The Cardinals have lost two in a row for the third time this season. They have not dropped three straight.
Lohse (4-1) reached 99 pitches far faster than he wanted to, pitching deep into counts more than earlier in the season even though he walked just one, marking the fifth time in six starts he had walked either none or one. It was obvious he had an occasional disagreement with plate umpire Paul Emmel, once disgustedly catching Yadier Molina's return throw to the mound ...