Cardinals 4, Giants 2
ST. LOUIS (AP)—Matt Morris wasn’t focused on a milestone. He just wanted to get back in the win column.
“I’ve never looked at any kind of number of wins in my career,” Morris said. “I just try to take each start and build on it and get something rolling.”
Mark Grudzielanek’s single snapped a 2-all tie in the sixth inning, and the Cardinals added one more run with another successful suicide squeeze. Albert Pujols and John Mabry each had an RBI for St. Louis, which activated right fielder Larry Walker from the disabled list before the game.
“Izzy gave me the ball,” Morris said. “Usually, he steals them all. Today, he flipped it to me and I’ll put it in my trunk.”
Morris (13-5) pitched six innings, allowing five hits before a sellout crowd of 47,169. In his third attempt, he became the 39th active pitcher to win 100 games and the 12th Cardinals pitcher overall.
“I’ve been struggling the last couple of starts, stuck on 99,” he said.
Morris (100-57) is the first Cardinals hurler to reach the 100-win mark since Bob Forsch in 1982. The right-hander is 7-2 in 12 starts at home this season and has won four of his last five at Busch Stadium.
“It has significant meaning to get 100 wins,” said St. Louis manager Tony La Russa, who has been Morris’ manager his entire career. “It moves you into a different category. We’ve all felt he’s been an upper-echelon starter a bunch of times in his career.”
San Francisco manager Felipe Alou is convinced Morris has improved since he had surgery on his shoulder in the offseason.
“You can’t believe how much better he is,” Alou said. “He had better arm speed and a cutter he didn’t have before.”
Kevin Correia (2-4) took the loss. He gave up four runs—three earned—and six hits in six innings.
“I’m still looking for that great outing,” Correia said.
St. Louis scored twice to go ahead 4-2 in the sixth. Edmonds led off with a double and scored on Grudzielanek’s single.
“I wanted to make sure there and get a good pitch and that ball ran in on me,” Grudzielanek said. “I did fight it and I hit it hard up the middle. You get rewarded for doing a good thing.”
A ground-rule double by Abraham Nunez advanced Grudzielanek to third.
With Grudzielanek breaking for the plate, Yadier Molina bunted the ball back to Correia, who flipped it home with his glove but not in time to get the sliding Grudzielanek.
“You know Tony, he’s a smart manager,” Molina said. “He gave me the sign, so I did it.”
It was the 11th successful suicide squeeze in 13 attempts this season for St. Louis.
“I threw the (pitch) high, just not high enough,” Correia said. “If I could have made a perfect flip, it would have saved us a run.”
The Giants tied it at 2 in the sixth on a two-out, two-run double by Ray Durham. Walker tried to make a diving play, but the ball eluded him and rolled to the wall.
“That’s the type of guys we have. He’s, I don’t know, 45 years old and he’s diving for balls,” Morris said, laughing. “He almost came up with it. It was a heck of an effort. He made the attempt to get it and I appreciate it.”
The Cardinals took a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Edmonds led off with a walk and scored on a double by Mabry.
Morris led off the fifth and reached second base when his grounder was misplayed by third baseman Edgardo Alfonzo for an error. David Eckstein sacrificed Morris to third, and Pujols singled up the middle for his 96th RBI of the season.
Pujols was thrown out trying to steal second, the first time in 12 attempts he has been caught.
Walker, who missed 26 games with a herniated disc in his neck, went 0-for-3 in his first game since July 22. So Taguchi pinch-hit for him in the seventh.
San Francisco’s Todd Linden struck out all four times up. … La Russa is two wins from matching Sparky Anderson (2,194) for third on the career list. … The Cardinals turned two double plays, giving them 12 on the homestand and 11 in their last four games. St. Louis is on pace to turn 204 double plays this season, which would shatter the club record. … Former St. Louis Cardinals quarterback Jim Hart tore down No. 17 as part of the Busch Stadium countdown. Hart wore No. 17 for the football Cardinals. There are 16 regular-season games left to be played at Busch. On Sunday, Ray Lankford will tear down No. 16, which he wore when he played the outfield for the Cardinals. … The sellout was the 34th of the season for the Cardinals. St. Louis has drawn more than 40,000 in each of its last 26 home games.