Series: Game 2 of 3

St. Louis leads 2-0 (as of 4/30)

Game 1: Tuesday, April 29
NY Mets3Final
St. Louis13
Game 2: Wednesday, April 30
NY Mets4Final
St. Louis13
Game 3: Thursday, May 1
NY Mets5Final
in 10
St. Louis6

Mets 4

(11-16, 3-9 away)

Cardinals 13

(13-12, 6-4 home)

    8:10 PM ET, April 30, 2003

    Busch Stadium I, St. Louis, Missouri 

    123456789 R H E
    NYM 000200002 4 7 0
    STL 52020400 - 13 16 1

    W: W. Williams (4-0)

    L: P. Astacio (1-1)

    Pujols homers twice in support of Williams

    ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Once again, New York Mets pitchers got battered.

    Albert Pujols homered twice and Eli Marrero and Fernando Vina also connected, leading Woody Williams and the St. Louis Cardinals to a 13-4 victory Wednesday night.

    Edgar Renteria drove in three runs, giving him seven RBI in two games, as the Cardinals followed up Tuesday night's 13-3 romp over the Mets by routing them again.

    "They pounded the ball tonight," Mets manager Art Howe said. "If you don't keep them in the yard, you're in trouble."

    The Mets have lost four in a row, getting outscored 39-11, and are in last place in the NL East at 11-16 despite a $117 million payroll. Although they didn't make any official errors, they had several shoddy plays in the field.

    Williams (4-0) allowed two runs on four hits in seven innings, with five strikeouts and two walks despite feeling less than 100 percent due to a virus. The Mets scored both of their runs after right fielder J.D. Drew got turned inside-out and misplayed Vance Wilson's drive for a ball that was ruled a double in the fourth.

    Williams didn't seem to mind.

    "They could have scored a lot more," Williams said. "They hit a lot of balls very, very hard and luckily our guys were standing there."

    The runs were the first allowed at Busch Stadium this season by Williams, who began the year with 17 1-3 scoreless innings at home. He entered the game with an NL-leading 0.69 ERA and left with it a still minuscule 1.09 ERA.

    "It's amazing," manager Tony La Russa said. "That probably ranks right up there with Dizzy Dean and Bob Gibson as far as stretches."

    Just like the opener of the series, this game was over early. After scoring four runs in the first against Al Leiter on Tuesday, they got five in the first off Pedro Astacio (1-1).

    All of the runs came with two outs, starting with Pujols' fourth home run and capped by Marrero's three-run shot just over the center-field wall and just over Timo Perez's glove. Renteria added a run-scoring single.

    Vina hit a two-run homer to drive in Williams, who had doubled, in the second. Pujols added a two-run homer, his fifth, in the fourth for a 9-2 lead.

    "He's such a hungry hitter," La Russa said. "If you make a mistake, he's liable to get you."

    Vina had been in a 2-for-20 slump and got a day off on Tuesday. He's been taking extra batting practice and also shaved off his goatee.

    "You want to hit it like the other guys," Vina said. "You want to do your part, too, to help this team."

    Astacio, who beat the Astros on April 24 in his first start of the season, lasted four innings and gave up nine runs on nine hits. He opened the year on the disabled list with tendinitis in his right shoulder.

    "It was just one of those bad games," Astacio said. "Almost every hitter, I was behind."

    The Mets, who had committed 10 errors in the previous three games, had no official errors this time. But left fielder Cliff Floyd gave up on Williams' fly ball over his head at the warning track for a double in the second, first baseman Mo Vaughn only flailed at Pujols' foul pop fly in the second and three fielders converged slowly on Jim Edmonds' bloop double to left in the first.

    "That's just an inability to get to the ball," Howe said. "We just can't get there."

    Vaughn homered into the upper deck in the ninth, a drive estimated at 466 feet. Wilson also homered in the ninth.

    Game notes
    The Cardinals moved above .500 at 13-12 for the first time since April 20. ... Williams is 11-2 for his career at Busch Stadium with an 2.02 ERA. ... Williams is 60-39 in night games with a 3.55 ERA and 18-28 with a 5.00 ERA in day games. He has allowed three or fewer runs in 28 of his last 29 starts. ... Renteria leads the NL with 15 multihit games and five multi-RBI games. He leads the Cardinals in runs (20), hits (37), doubles (12) and RBI (24). ... Astacio is 7-12 against the Cardinals and 3-7 at Busch Stadium with a 6.27 ERA. ... The Mets have been outscored 22-9 in the first inning. ... Pujols' multihomer game was his first since May 28, 2001, against the Brewers. ... Edmonds was lifted after three innings because of general fatigue, but is expected to play in the series finale on Thursday.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press