Cardinals 6, Giants 0

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ST. LOUIS (AP)—Motivated by his worst start of the year, Matt Morris was at his best against the San Francisco Giants.

Morris threw a seven-hitter for his seventh career shutout and the St. Louis Cardinals took advantage of Jerome Williams’ wildness for a 6-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Sunday.

“I needed today,” Morris said. “I wanted to go out there and put my piece in today.”

The Cardinals avoided a sweep after losing the first two games of the three-game series, and beat the Giants for only the second time in seven games at home the last two seasons.

The NL Central leaders have won 16 of 20 overall, and 13 of 16 at home.

“If we’re lucky, we might see them in the playoffs,” Giants manager Felipe Alou said. “That club there, that will make the playoffs.”

Morris (11-6) threw his 15th career complete game to bounce back from his worst start of the season, when he lasted 1 2-3 innings and gave up seven runs in the Cardinals’ 11-8 comeback victory over the Cubs on Tuesday. He helped himself by inducing double plays to end the fourth, fifth, sixth, and ninth, emphasizing his sinker.

Much of this season, he’s relied more on changing speeds.

“I sped up my delivery a little bit, tried to get my arm in front and keep throwing my sinker like I have my whole career,” Morris said. “I kind of got away from it at the beginning of the year.”

The teams’ big stars—Barry Bonds and Albert Pujols—both got the day off.

Pujols has a sore heel and is 0-for-7 against Williams. Alou maximized rest for Bonds, considering their next game is Monday night in San Diego.

“He’s the best hitter in the game, so anytime they take him out of the lineup it’s a big hole,” Morris said. “You’ve got to stay focused, but obviously not having him in the lineup helps.”

Yadier Molina’s two-run single was the only hit in the fifth off Williams (9-7), who walked three straight and also issued an intentional walk in the inning. Marlon Anderson had a bases-loaded sacrifice fly for the first run of the rally, and center fielder Marquis Grissom’s throw home on the play was late and wide, allowing the runners to move up.

John Mabry was intentionally walked, and Molina followed with his hit that gave the Cardinals a 4-0 lead.

“I was just trying to get the ball over the plate, but I couldn’t,” Williams said. “It happens. You guys could see out there that I was kind of upset.”

Mabry was 3-for-3 with a homer, Roger Cedeno had two hits and an RBI groundout and Scott Rolen had a sacrifice fly. Mabry and Cedeno both got spot starts and Cedeno batted third.

“When you get in there once in a while, you can try to do too much,” Cedeno said. “I just tried to play like I’ve been playing every day.”

Morris is 5-2 against the Giants with a 1.35 ERA, winning his last four starts, and also matched his victory total from last season. Although the Cardinals have seven shutouts, this was their first complete game.

Williams lasted five innings, giving up four runs on six hits, and the five walks matched his season high. He had been 2-0 in his last three starts overall, and was 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA in two starts against the Cardinals.

Williams will face the Cardinals again this weekend in San Francisco.

“Last year, I faced them twice back to back and I did pretty good,” Williams said. “I’ve got to get back on track, so I guess I’ll be getting back on track with them.”


Cardinals 2B Tony Womack, who singled and scored in the sixth, is 3-for-39 since the All-Star break. … The Giants have won five of the last six season series against the Cardinals, and are 31-20 against them since 1998. … It was 65 degrees at game time, a 29-degree difference from stifling 94-degree heat and high humidity at game time Thursday. … The series loss was the Cardinals’ first at home since April 27-29 when they dropped two of three to the Phillies. They had been 10-0-2 since. … The Cardinals finished a 3-2 homestand, with all three wins coming on shutouts.

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