Williams does it all for Cards

Thursday, July 22, 2004

ST. LOUIS -- Woody Williams took care of everything.

Williams threw seven innings of five-hit ball in 93-degree heat, got two of the St. Louis Cardinals' three hits and scored the lone run a 1-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday night.

"Hopefully this is the only time it's going to happen," Williams said. "They pitched good, and I definitely got lucky on the second hit and ended up scoring a run."

Edgar Renteria hit a sixth-inning sacrifice fly for the Cardinals (60-34), who have the best record in the major leagues and have won 11 of 12 at home. Overall, they've won 14 of their last 16.

Williams (7-6) outdueled Victor Santos (9-4) to move above .500 for the first time. He began the year 1-5 after being limited to five innings in spring training due to shoulder tendinitis, but is 4-0 with a 2.49 ERA in his last seven starts.

"Woody stepped up," manager Tony La Russa said. "To pitch seven innings in that heat with no margin for error -- outstanding."

Jason Isringhausen, the third Cardinals pitcher, worked the ninth for his 25th save in 29 chances. He has saves each of the last three days and struck out two of the three Brewers he faced, likely earning a day off on Thursday.

"No problem," Isringhausen said. "I don't want to miss saves, but I don't want to get hurt, either."

Williams, who has 99 career victories, also had his first two-hit game of the year with a pair of singles. He reached on a bloop hit to start the sixth, went to third on a fielding error by second baseman Bill Hall and scored on Renteria's one-out fly to right.

Ben Grieve appeared poised for a throw to the plate but changed his mind and threw to second to keep Tony Womack at first. Both managers agreed it was the right call.

"How is he going to throw him out from deep right?" Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "He's got no chance, less than zero."

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