HOUSTON -- Lance Lynn pitched seven innings to earn his 17th win, rookie Pete Kozma hit a two-run homer and the St. Louis Cardinals strengthened their grip on a playoff spot with a 6-1 win over the Houston Astros on Monday night.
Yadier Molina added a solo shot as the Cardinals moved 3½ games in front of Milwaukee and Los Angeles for the second NL wild card. The Brewers lost 12-2 at Washington earlier in the day, and the Dodgers were off.
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Lynn (17-7) struck out nine and yielded allowed one run and five hits.
Kozma extended St. Louis' lead to 3-0 with his second major league homer in the second, a day after hitting his first one.