ST. LOUIS -- Woody Williams, an 18-game winner last year, won for the first time in seven starts this season with eight strong innings in the St. Louis Cardinals' 5-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night.
Mike Matheny drove in two runs without a hit, getting RBIs on a bases-loaded groundout in the second and a squeeze bunt in the sixth. A third run scored for St. Louis when Williams' two-out grounder in the second scooted between first baseman Adam LaRoche's legs for an error.
The Cardinals are 7-11 at Busch Stadium and have won consecutive home games for the first time this season. They're 10-5 on the road.
Williams (1-3) entered with a 6.27 ERA and only four victories in his last 18 starts dating to last July. Shoulder tendinitis limited him to five innings in spring training and he struggled to start the season.
Williams limited the Braves, who have lost five of six, to one run and three hits with five strikeouts and two walks.
Williams has never started a season 0-4. He outpitched Jaret Wright (2-3) to raise his career record against the Braves to 3-1 with a 2.05 ERA.
Atlanta committed three errors to hurt Wright, who lasted 5 2-3 innings and gave up four runs.
The Braves scored in the third on a leadoff double by Jesse Garcia, a sacrifice by Wright and a groundout by Mark DeRosa. They had only one runner in scoring position over the last six innings.
The Cardinals loaded the bases to start the second when Ray Lankford reached on a fielding error by Garcia at shortstop and Scott Rolen and Edgar Renteria singled. With one out, Lankford scored on Matheny's groundout, and a second run scored on La Roche's fielding error on Williams' grounder.
St. Louis added two runs in the sixth on Matheny's squeeze and Tony Womack's RBI single and Renteria hit his third homer off C.J. Nitkowski in the eighth.