Williams sharp in Cards' 7-2 victory over Braves

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

The Associated Press

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Woody Williams cruised through two innings in his second start of spring training.

Williams allowed only one hit -- Andruw Jones' solo homer -- and struck out two Monday in the St. Louis Cardinals' 7-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves.

Plagued by shoulder tendinitis since he reported to spring training, Williams made his debut Thursday with one inning against Montreal. He plans to go at least four innings in his next outing, probably Sunday against Los Angeles.

After reaching the All-Star break with 14 wins last season, Williams added only four more victories to finish with a career-high 18. He made a team-high 33 starts, pitching 220 2-3 innings, his personal high.

Albert Pujols continued his hot spring with two hits off Russ Ortiz, including a double, and is hitting .390. Closer Jason Isringhausen survived a bases-loaded jam in the ninth by striking out Joe DePastino.

Andruw Jones drove in both runs for the Braves, adding a sacrifice fly.

Ortiz was knocked around a bit in his fourth start, giving up seven runs and 12 hits in five innings. The Cardinals scored four runs on five hits in the first, capped by a two-run double by Reggie Sanders.

"Believe me, it's not fun giving up runs, even in spring training," Ortiz said. "But I felt like I made good pitches. I'm working on my pitches. I'm not worried about how many runs were scored."

Braves second baseman Marcus Giles returned after missing six games with a sprained thumb and went 1-for-2 with a double off the top of the wall in right.

"I'm ready to start the regular season," he said.

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