Series: Game 3 of 3

St. Louis won 3-0

Game 1: Monday, March 31
St. Louis11
Game 2: Wednesday, April 2
St. Louis7
Game 3: Thursday, April 3
St. Louis6

Brewers 4

(0-3, 0-3 away)

Cardinals 6

(3-0, 3-0 home)

    1:10 PM ET, April 3, 2003

    Busch Stadium I, St. Louis, Missouri 

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    STL 00002310 - 6 13 0

    W: G. Stephenson (1-0)

    L: M. Kinney (0-1)

    S: S. Kline (2)

    Stephenson's debut encouraging for Cards

    ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Garrett Stephenson feels good, and it showed.

    The former 16-game winner, sidelined by injuries the past two seasons, allowed one run in 6 1/3 innings as the St. Louis Cardinals completed an opening three-game sweep of Milwaukee by beating the Brewers 6-4 Thursday.

    "I'm totally healthy and I just need to make quality pitches, which is what I did today,'' Stephenson said. "Physically, I feel pretty good. I've got a lot of energy.''

    Albert Pujols had three RBI for the NL Central champions, who swept their opening series for the second time in four seasons. St. Louis has swept the Brewers, a franchise-worst 56-106 last year, three times since the start of 2002.

    Scott Rolen had a two-run single, and Pujols and Edgar Renteria homered for the Cardinals, who outscored Milwaukee 24-13 in the series. St. Louis begins a three-game series on Friday against the Astros.

    "We get the chance to enjoy it until tomorrow,'' Rolen said. "Then we have to go out and try to do it again. We have Houston coming in, and that's a great ballclub, and everybody sees them as a contender.''

    Royce Clayton hit a three-run homer in the ninth off Cal Eldred, Clayton's second three-run homer of the series. Steve Kline got two outs for his second save.

    The Brewers head into their home opener Friday against San Francisco seeking their first win under new manager Ned Yost.

    "They're out there battling to the point where they're almost pressing,'' Yost said. "They're giving it all that they have to give. Right now there's not much going in our direction, but these things turn around over the course of 162 games.''

    Stephenson (1-0), who missed most of the last two seasons with elbow and hamstring injuries, allowed four hits.

    Milwaukee put on two runners in each of the first two innings but managed only one in the next four. Eddie Perez, who had three hits, chased Stephenson with a home run in the seventh.

    "It was definitely a battle,'' Stephenson said. "I just tried to keep the game as close as possible until we could strike. We struck well.''

    The Cardinals were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position in the first four innings against Matt Kinney (0-1) before breaking through. Pujols, the NL MVP runnerup last year, hit a two-run homer with one out in the fifth to put St. Louis ahead.

    "It was a 3-1 slider that I just left up a bit,'' Kinney said. "Other than that, I thought I threw pretty well.''

    Pujols' RBI double and Scott Rolen's two-run single off Curtis Leskanic made it 5-0 in the sixth.

    Kinney gave up four runs and nine hits in 5 1-3 innings. He was 0-3 with a 6.39 ERA in spring training.

    Game notes

    The Cardinals' best winning streak to start a season was 7-0 in 1962. ... St. Louis was 12-14 last April, and lost two of three in its opening series against Colorado. ... Milwaukee started last year 2-9. ... Perez has two homers in the first three games after going without a long ball since 1999. ... Orlando Palmeiro is 5-for-11 against Kinney. ... The Cardinals are 10-3 against the Brewers during the last two seasons.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press