(Thursday, August 30th) Final Score: Houston 2, St. Louis 1 Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Lance Berkman homered and Matt Albers threw seven solid innings as the Houston Astros edged the St. Louis Cardinals, 2-1, in the rubber game of a three-game set at Minute Maid Park. The loss drops the Cardinals 3 Games behind the First-Place Cubs in the NL Central Albers (4-6) yielded just three hits and one run with four walks and three strikeouts for the Astros, who have won three of four and wrapped up a 10-game homestand with a 4-6 record. David Eckstein knocked in the lone run for the Cardinals, who have lost two in a row since their three-game winning streak and fell three games behind first- place Chicago in the NL Central. The Cubs earned a 5-4 home win over Milwaukee Thursday night. St. Louis starter Joel Pineiro (3-2) took the loss in six innings, allowing two runs on five hits with one walk and three strikeouts. For the second straight day Cardinals manager Tony La Russa was denied a win that would have enabled him to pass Hall of Famer Red Schoendiensts club record of 1,041 managerial victories. La Russa evened that mark in St. Louis win over Houston on Tuesday. Instead, interim manager Cecil Cooper got his second win as Houstons skipper after replacing Phil Garner on Monday. Houston got on the board in the second. With one out, Mike Lamb walked and scored on Luke Scotts double to left. In the third, Pineiro singled to left and Brendan Ryan doubled to left-center before Ecksteins ground out to short knocked in a run and tied the game. Berkman put the Astros back on top in fourth with a lead-off homer to right, his 26th of the year. Brad Lidge pitched a perfect ninth for his 14th save. Game Notes St. Louis Scott Rolen missed his second straight game because of a sore left shoulder...Pineiro lost for the first time in five starts...Berkman has hit 23 of his homers left-handed...It was Houstons first series win at Minute Maid Park since sweeping the Cubs from August 6-8...Attendance was 37,520.