Morris flashes offense at Brewers

Thursday, April 17, 2003

MILWAUKEE -- Matt Morris' arm always has been tough on the Milwaukee Brewers. On Wednesday, his bat hurt them, too.

Morris pitched six solid innings and hit his first major league home run, and Scott Rolen hit a pair of two-run homers as the Cardinals posted a 15-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

"I've been waiting for this home run since little league," Morris said.

The Brewers managed only one unearned run off Morris (1-1), who improved to 9-2 with a 2.23 ERA in his career against Milwaukee. Pitching his third consecutive strong game, Morris scattered five hits while walking four and striking out seven.

A day after losing 6-1 to Ben Sheets, the Cardinals tied a season-high in runs, and set season highs with 10 extra-base hits and four home runs.

"Tuesday, they made us pay," Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa said. "Today, we made them pay."

One start after beating Arizona's Randy Johnson, Milwaukee starter Wayne Franklin (1-2) often fell behind in the count, giving up nine earned runs on eight hits and three walks in 3 2-3 innings.

"When you are behind constantly, they are going to make you pay for it," Brewers manager Ned Yost said.

"We were waiting to see who hits the next pitch hard," Rolen said. "We swung at good pitches and everybody was hitting the ball well."

Albert Pujols, returning after missing Tuesday night's game with a bruised right thumb, had two singles, a double, two RBIs and scored twice. Mike Matheny drove in three runs with a single and a double.

Morris' first career homer came in his 255th at bat. He also singled, walked and scored a run.

Rolen's first-inning homer, his fourth this season, scored Miguel Cairo and gave St. Louis a 2-0 lead. Morris hit his homer in the second for a 3-0 lead.

"To get a nice cushion like we did is comforting," Morris said.

The Cardinals broke it open in the third when Rolen doubled and scored on Pujols' single. Three batters later, Matheny's double scored Pujols and Edgar Renteria for a 6-0 lead.

"They kind of buried me in the first couple of innings," Franklin said.

Rolen hit another two-run homer in the fourth, his fifth of the season, and Eduardo Perez hit a two-run homer, his second, two batters later for a 10-1 lead.

The Cardinals added four more runs in the fifth on a two-run double by Eli Marrero, a sacrifice fly by Pujols and an RBI single by Renteria for a 14-1 lead. Matheny's RBI single made it 15-1 in the seventh.

John Vander Wal homered in the eighth for Milwaukee.

Noteworthy

It was Rolen's 13th career two-home run game. ... The 15 runs scored by St. Louis tied a season-high. ...It was the Cardinals largest margin of victory in nearly three seasons, since winning 19-4 at Pittsburgh on May 20, 2000... St. Louis has a team batting average of .309. The Brewers are 0-8 in day games, and 1-5 at Miller Park. ... The Cardinals went 5-4 on their nine-game road trip. ... The temperature outside Miller Park was 39 degrees, down from 84 degrees at the start of Tuesday night's game. The roof was closed Wednesday and the temperature inside was 69. ... Brewers CF Alex Sanchez has been caught stealing in four of his six steal attempts, one season after stealing 37 bases in 51 attempts.

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