Cardinals' loss keeps them on historic slide

Published September 29, 2006


ST. LOUIS - Now the Cardinals' Central Division lead is down to a half game.

Jason Marquis got just six outs and St. Louis fell behind by eight runs in the third inning in its loss.

In a swoon that could become one of baseball's historic collapses, St. Louis has lost eight of nine and wasted nearly all of what was a seven-game lead with 13 to play.

Houston beat Pittsburgh for its ninth straight win.

If it's needed to decide the division, the Cardinals will host San Francisco on Monday in the makeup of a Sept. 17 rainout.

Bill Hall was 3-for-4 with a two-run homer in the first off Marquis, who allowed six runs, five hits and two walks in two-plus innings.

Marquis is 0-4 with an 8.46 ERA in five September starts and was booed by the sellout crowd of 40,313 as he left.

Doug Davis won for the first time in four starts despite walking eight - one shy of his career high - in six innings. He allowed one run and two hits, striking out seven.

Preston Wilson and Scott Rolen homered for the Cardinals.

Albert Pujols was 0-for-4 in the opener of a four-game series.

Notable: Hall's homer was the first allowed by the Cardinals in 38 innings at home.