Williams gets his 18th win in finale

Monday, September 29, 2003

PHOENIX -- Woody Williams pitched six innings, plus two batters, to earn his career-best 18th victory as the Cardinals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 9-5 in their season finale on Sunday.

He shut out Arizona for six innings, but gave up a two-run homer to Steve Finley in the seventh.

Williams (18-9), 4-1 in his last five starts, allowed two runs on eight hits, struck out two and walked three, one intentionally.

Diamondbacks rookie Brandon Webb (10-9) had his second straight rough outing, allowing six runs on five hits in four innings. He finished the season with a 2.84 ERA, fourth-best in the league.

Jim Edmonds was 2-for-4 with a double and a 410-foot, three-run homer off Webb in the third inning. It was Edmonds' 39th home run. So Taguchi hit a three-run homer for St. Louis in the seventh.

Arizona's Alex Cintron was 4-for-5. He finished the season with seven consecutive hits, tying a club record.

The Cardinals won nine of their last 12 and took their final four series.

Albert Pujols went 2-for-5 to win the NL batting title. Pujols had an infield single in the third inning, then doubled in the seventh. He struck out looking in the eighth to finish with a .3587 average

Mark Grace ended his major league career after 16 seasons by playing 1 1-3 innings at first base for Arizona. He came into the game to a huge ovation at the start of the sixth inning, then was pulled after one out in the seventh.

Grace, one of baseball's most popular players, received a long, standing ovation as he left the field, coming out of the dugout to wave to the crowd in a curtain call.

Diamondbacks rookie Brandon Webb (10-9) had his second straight rough outing, allowing six runs on five hits in four innings. He finished the season with a 2.84 ERA, fourth-best in the league.

Note: Williams joined Atlanta's Russ Ortiz and Chicago's Mark Prior as the only NL pitchers to win at least 18 games. ... Arizona's Carlos Baerga set a franchise record with his 19th pinch hit. ... St. Louis manager Tony La Russa and catcher Mike Matheny were back after serving a two-game suspension for their roles in last weekend's run-in with umpire Jerry Crawford in Houston. Pitching coach Dave Duncan served his one-game suspension for the same incident on Sunday. ... Webb allowed nine earned runs in his last eight innings.

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