Diamondbacks win sixth straight, top Cardinals

Wednesday, April 17, 2002

PHOENIX -- Although not at his overpowering best, Randy Johnson was good enough Tuesday night to become baseball's first four-game winner as the Arizona Diamondbacks won their sixth in a row, 5-3 over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Johnson helped himself with an RBI double smashed over the head of center fielder Eli Marrero in the fourth inning.

Johnson (4-0) allowed three runs -- the total he'd given up combined in his first three starts -- and eight hits in seven innings. He struck out five and walked one.

Steve Finley, who entered the game in a double switch in the eighth inning, homered off reliever Mike Matthews with two outs in the eighth to put Arizona up 5-3. It was the fourth homer for Finley, who had not started the last five games because of a sore back.

Mike Myers pitched the ninth for his first save since the 2000 season.

Junior Spivey was 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and Greg Colbrunn 2-for-3 with an RBI double for the Diamondbacks.

Albert Pujols drove in two runs for St. Louis with a homer and an RBI double.

Arizona goes for a three-game sweep today in a matchup of 3-0 pitchers Curt Schilling and Matt Morris.

Counting his final 24 regular-season starts last season and six in the postseason, Johnson is 25-3. He is 9-0 in his last nine starts since losing to St. Louis in the divisional series.

Smith (0-1), who beat Arizona in last year's division playoffs, allowed four runs and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings in his second start since being recalled from Triple-A Memphis to replace injured Woody Williams.

Spivey's first homer of the season, on a 1-2 pitch, followed Jose Guillen's one-out walk to give the Diamondbacks a 2-0 lead in the second.

Arizona added a run in the third on consecutive singles by Danny Bautista and Luis Gonzalez and Colbrunn's double down the right-field line.

Pujols' 409-foot homer to lead off the fourth made it 3-1.

After Johnson's RBI double in the fourth put Arizona up 4-1, the Cardinals scored twice in the sixth. Placido Polanco led off with a single, then scored from first on Pujols' double. A two-out single by Marerro drove in Pujols.

Arizona loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, but reliever Dave Veres struck out Damian Miller and got Guillen to ground into a fielder's choice.

Notes

The Cardinals' Eduardo Perez was awarded ball four when reliever Eddie Oropesa went to his mouth on a 3-0 count with two outs in the eighth. ... RHP Rick Helling, who earned his first victory for the Diamondbacks on Monday night, was with his wife late Tuesday afternoon for the birth of their daughter, Josie. ... Morris and Schilling squared off twice in last year's playoffs, with Arizona winning 1-0 and 2-1. ... St. Louis 2B Fernando Vina turned 33 Tuesday and is on a six-game hitting streak.

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