HOUSTON, April 7 (UPI) -- Richard Hidalgo's two-run single capped a three-run ninth inning and Darryle Ward led off the bottom of the 12th with his second homer as the Houston Astros avoided a three-game sweep Sunday by rallying for a 7-6 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.
After surrendering six runs over the final three innings in Friday's 8-4 loss, Houston relievers allowed three in the eighth and ninth as St. Louis took a 6-3 lead. But Steve Kline and Mike Timlin could not nail down the win for the Cardinals.
Pinch hitter Brian Hunter led off with a bloop single against Kline, who retired Geoff Blum on a flyout and Jose Vizcaino on a groundout. After Gregg Zaun walked, Timlin came out of the bullpen and was greeted by Jeff Bagwell, who doubled into the left-field corner to trim the Astros' deficit to 6-4.
Houston nearly won it in the 11th, but center fielder Jim Edmonds nailed Vizcaino at the plate trying to score on Hidalgo's flyout.
After rookie Ricky Stone (1-0) tossed a second straight hitless inning, Ward hit an 0-1 pitch from Luther Hackman (0-1) high off the right-field foul pole.
The win completed a 3-3 homestand for the Astros, who hit the road for their next nine games.