Cardinals 13, Brewers 0
Williams rebounded from his worst start of the year to combine on a three-hitter, reaching a career-best 16 victories, and Rolen reached 100 RBIs for the third straight year as the St. Louis Cardinals routed the Milwaukee Brewers 13-0 Thursday night.
But the Cardinals are five games behind first-place Houston in the NL Central with eight games to go.
“Getting 100 RBIs, that’s great,” Rolen said. “That’s great for what? It’s hard not to look and say ‘If you drove 100 in, how many didn’t I drive in that were more important than the 100 I did?”’
In his previous outing, Williams allowed nine runs in 3 2-3 innings during a 14-5 loss at Houston. Before Thursday, he had been 1-6 with a 6.08 ERA in his previous 10 outings, and allowed six runs in six innings to the Reds on Sept. 6 in the lone win during that stretch.
“It’s just nice to win and actually pitch halfway decent,” Williams said. “It’s been a long time since that happened.”
Edgar Renteria had four hits and five RBIs as the Cardinals won three of four against the Brewers. The Cardinals host the Astros in a three-game series starting Friday night.
“We’re battling and we’re in a situation we don’t want to be in, and that’s the most important thing,” Williams said. “If I would have pitched consistently all year, we wouldn’t be in this situation.”
Williams (16-9) topped his 15-win season in 2001 for the Padres and Cardinals. He allowed three hits in seven innings, struck out six and walked two. Steve Kline and Josh Pearce each worked a hitless inning of relief.
Williams worked out of his only jam in the second, leaving the bases loaded. He fell behind 3-1 on pitcher Matt Kinney before getting an inning-ending groundout on a 3-2 pitch.
Renteria was 4-for-4 with two doubles, two singles and a walk. He had an RBI single in the fifth, an RBI double in the seventh and a three-run double in the eighth to tie his career best.
“It feels great,” Renteria said. “It’s a night where everything you hit goes through.”
Rolen hit his 28th homer in the second and added a run-scoring single in the fifth. Rolen has 101 RBIs after driving in 110 last year for the Phillies and Cardinals, and has four career 100-RBI seasons.
He also hit his 46th double in the seventh, reaching a career high, and scored on Renteria’s double. At third base, he robbed Bill Hall of a hit on a bunt down the line in the fifth.
“Scott Rolen put on a clinic,” manager Tony La Russa said.
Eduardo Perez hit a three-run homer in a five-run fifth off Kinney (10-12) as the Cardinals made it 7-0.
Kinney lasted 4 2-3 innings, giving up seven runs and 10 hits with seven strikeouts and five walks. In his last three starts, Kinney has surrendered 17 runs in 14 2-3 innings.
“They have an unbelievable lineup and I didn’t make a lot of goodpitches,” Kinney said. “The way I pitched was pretty embarrassing.”
Kinney is 0-3 against the Cardinals, allowing 16 runs in 13 2-3 innings. … Jim Edmonds, 1-for-10 in the series, was removed from the lineup about a half-hour before game time after feeling a twinge in his side. He’s day-to-day. … Albert Pujols is 9-for-21 in his last five games after singling in four at-bats. … Scott Podsednik was 0-for-4 after going 6-for-14 in his previous four games. The Brewers’ CF threw out a runner at the plate in the second. … Renteria has three five-RBI games in his career, the previous onApril 13 at Houston.