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Fister packs a punch in 6th straight win

Right-hander stumps Cards over season-high 7 1/3 innings
MLB.com @brianmctaggart

ST. LOUIS -- The Astros' acquisition of Doug Fister continued to pay dividends Tuesday night, when the veteran right-hander won his sixth consecutive decision and added a two-run single to lead the Astros to a 5-2 win over the Cardinals.

Fister (7-3) is 6-0 with a 2.35 ERA since May 1, and the Astros have won all nine of his starts in that span. Working at a quick tempo, he needed only 87 pitches to weave his way through a season-high 7 1/3 innings by giving up two runs and five hits.

Full Game Coverage

ST. LOUIS -- The Astros' acquisition of Doug Fister continued to pay dividends Tuesday night, when the veteran right-hander won his sixth consecutive decision and added a two-run single to lead the Astros to a 5-2 win over the Cardinals.

Fister (7-3) is 6-0 with a 2.35 ERA since May 1, and the Astros have won all nine of his starts in that span. Working at a quick tempo, he needed only 87 pitches to weave his way through a season-high 7 1/3 innings by giving up two runs and five hits.

Full Game Coverage

"One of the things that happens when Doug pitches is we have to be ready," manager A.J. Hinch said. "He pitches quick, he pitches efficiently, he throws strikes, they put the ball in play. Teams don't wait around. They try to attack his pitches that are up. You have to play with an alert approach when he's on the mound, and what comes with that is a little bit more attention to detail, a little bit more energy out of the team, and it's turned into a lot of wins."

Video: HOU@STL: Rasmus, Fister talk about win over Cardinals

Six consecutive wins is Fister's career high and marks the longest such streak by an Astros pitcher this season. He's made 11 consecutive starts of three runs or fewer, which is the longest streak of his career. He's 3-0 with a 1.74 ERA in his last five starts.

"I don't even typically know those things," he said. "I look at it day to day and know that our guys going out there fighting. It's a hot night tonight, and we had a good off-day yesterday allowing us to recoup, and guys are busting their tails. For me, personally, I want to be consistent, but our guys are going out there and playing and putting their all into it."

Fister thrives on working quick and trying to get opposing batters to pound his sinker in the ground, which means the defense has to be on its toes.

"It's always a running joke between me and [second baseman Jose] Altuve and [shortstop Carlos] Correa and that hey, I want to give them as many ground balls as I can," he said. "So that's the idea."

Video: HOU@STL: Hinch talks about Fister's outing, hitting

Fister put down a sac bunt in the third inning and bunted again in the fifth, though Marwin Gonzalez didn't advance from second base. In the seventh, with runners on second and third and two outs, Fister singled to center field give the Astros a 5-2 lead. He doubled his career RBI total in that at-bat.

"That was a big couple of tack-on runs there when they got back with a couple of solo homers," Hinch said. "It was good for him to roll one through the infield. He's got some National League experience."

Fister says he takes his at-bats seriously.

"Whether it's the bunts or being able to swing the bat, in that situation, I've got to be able to at least put the ball in play and give ourselves a chance," he said.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Houston Astros, Doug Fister