Final

Series: Game 1 of 2

San Francisco leads 1-0 (as of 7/7)

Game 1: Monday, July 7
St. Louis1Final
San Francisco5
Game 2: Tuesday, July 8
St. Louis3Final
San Francisco8

Cardinals 1

(46-42, 20-24 away)

Giants 5

(54-34, 26-15 home)

10:15 PM ET, July 7, 2003

AT&T Park, San Francisco, California 

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SF 30000020 - 5 10 0

W: J. Williams (4-1)

L: G. Stephenson (4-9)

Rookie Williams wins fourth straight decision

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Last week in St. Louis, rookie Jerome Williams begged his teammates to share any secrets on how to shut down Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols.

Jerome Williams

AP Photo

Jerome Williams needed 128 pitches to finish off his second complete game of the season.

San Francisco pitching coach Dave Righetti made it simple: "Challenge him."

Williams pitched his second complete game of the year in his eighth major league start, stumping Pujols and the rest of the St. Louis lineup and leading the Giants to a 5-1 victory Monday night.

The right-hander (4-1) won his fourth straight, allowing seven hits, striking out four, walking one and throwing 128 pitches. Williams' last two victories have come against the Cardinals -- and he has held Pujols hitless in seven at-bats in those two games.

"When I came into St. Louis, he had a .380-something average," Williams said. "I said, 'I'm going to face this guy,' and I was asking everybody in the clubhouse, 'What should I do?"

He seems to have it figured out just fine, and some early run support didn't hurt.

Barry Bonds hit his 639th career home run an estimated 471 feet, and Marquis Grissom homered and drove in three runs.

Grissom hit a two-run homer with one out in the first off Garrett Stephenson (4-9), and Bonds connected one batter later, sending the ball high over the main concession stand in center field. It was the third time this season the Giants hit back-to-back homers.

Bonds' solo shot -- his 26th of the year -- was the second-longest homer he's hit at 4-year-old Pacific Bell Park. The slugger hit one an estimated 491 feet last Sept. 9 against the Dodgers' Odalis Perez.

The 21-year-old Williams retired eight of the first 10 batters he faced. He also got an added bonus when he doubled in the seventh for his first major league hit.

Williams scored on Grissom's RBI infield single, and Bonds hit a sacrifice fly to bring in another run in the inning.

Giants manager Felipe Alou was ejected in the fourth -- the first time the 68-year-old skipper has been tossed this season.

Alou sprinted from the dugout to second base after Jose Cruz Jr. was called out trying to steal. Alou hollered at second-base umpire Jim Reynolds, who then threw him out.

Cruz made a headfirst slide into second and was ruled out on a close call when second baseman Bo Hart made a low tag on Cruz's arm. Alou received a standing ovation as he ran off the field.

Cruz was caught stealing again in the eighth on a similar play.

"That's the first time I've seen the Giants play live on television. They looked good," Alou said with a smile. "Jerome Williams looked good. ... Managers get thrown out. I got thrown out three times in one week in the big leagues. There are blown calls. We are in a pennant race. We consider every call life and death."

Aside from two hits each by Chris Widger and Edgar Renteria, the Cardinals lacked any consistent offense in their first game in San Francisco since losing to the Giants in the NL Championship Series last October.

When asked about Williams' pitching, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said: "They can talk about him. They know about him better than we do."

For Williams, all this success hasn't quite sunk in. He was supposed make a spot start in place of the injured Kurt Ainsworth and then head back to Triple-A Fresno. That was more than a month ago.

"I go home and sit down thinking, 'Hey, that's me. I actually throw like that," he said of watching his highlights on TV.

Jim Edmonds hit an RBI single in the third to score Widger, who hit a leadoff double off Williams for the Cardinals' first hit. The run broke a streak of 14 2-3 scoreless innings at home by Williams.

Stephenson allowed three runs and six hits in six innings, striking out five and walking three to lose his fourth straight start. The four consecutive losses matches a career-high.

He also gave up a homer to Bonds last week.

Game notes


The Giants have won eight of their last 10 at home. ... St. Louis OF J.D. Drew missed his second straight game with a troublesome knee. Drew left a game on July 1 with pain in his right knee. ... San Francisco is 5-3 in Williams' eight starts, and two of the losses have been by two or fewer runs. ... The paid crowd of 42,674 was the largest for a regular-season game in Pac Bell history. The ballpark sold out for the 17th time this season. ... Stephenson is 1-4 lifetime against San Francisco. He hasn't beaten the Giants since May 9, 2000.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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