Cards fall short, resulting in first four-game losing streak

Friday, October 1, 2004

ST. LOUIS -- Matt Morris struggled in his final tuneup for the playoffs, and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-6 Thursday night to send the NL Central champions to their first four-game losing streak of the season.

Keith Ginter hit a three-run homer in the first inning, and Scott Podsednik hit a two-run shot in the fourth.

St. Louis (103-56), the winningest team in the major leagues this season, can do no better than tie the franchise record for victories, set in 1942. The Cardinals are 6-6 since clinching first place on Sept. 18.

Morris (15-10), the Cardinals' likely starter in their playoff opener next week at Busch Stadium, allowed six runs and seven hits in four innings. Starting on nine days' rest after skipping a start due to fatigue, he came out after 72 pitches and dropped to 9-4 with a 3.69 ERA at home. Morris is 6-6 with a 6.02 ERA on the road.

St. Louis didn't start Larry Walker (stiff neck) and Jim Edmonds (0-for-21 slump) in the opener of a four-game series that closes the regular season.

Doug Davis (12-12) needed 123 pitches to get through six innings. Davis gave up two runs and seven hits.

Dan Kolb pitched the ninth for his 39th save. One run scored off him on an error by Ginter. Mike Matheny hit a two-run double.

Ginter caught a break in the first when Matheny gloved but could not hold his foul pop in the stands. Ginter homered on the next pitch for a 4-0 lead.

Geoff Jenkins had an RBI double earlier in the first, and Podsednik's 12th homer put the Brewers ahead 6-0. Podsednik singled in a run in the eighth.

St. Louis loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth but got only one run on Matheny's fielder's-choice grounder. Hector Luna and Edmonds, who pinch hit, both struck out.

Albert Pujols doubled twice for St. Louis, and drove in a run in the fifth to make it 6-2, and Roger Cedeno had an RBI single in the seventh.

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