Series: Game 1 of 3

St. Louis leads 1-0 (as of 6/15)

Game 1: Tuesday, June 15
St. Louis8
Game 2: Wednesday, June 16
St. Louis6
Game 3: Thursday, June 17
St. Louis5

Athletics 4

(37-25, 14-15 away)

Cardinals 8

(37-27, 14-15 home)

    8:10 PM ET, June 15, 2004

    Busch Stadium I, St. Louis, Missouri 

    123456789 R H E
    OAK 022000000 4 8 1
    STL 21000050 - 8 12 0

    W: M. Morris (7-5)

    L: C. Bradford (3-3)

    S: J. Isringhausen (14)

    Anderson drives in two in five-run inning

    ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Facing his old team is no fun for Tony La Russa. For a few days, he can't root for the Oakland Athletics.

    In the opener of a three-game interleague series Tuesday night, the St. Louis Cardinals manager came away with an 8-4 win against the team he led to four division championships and a World Series from 1986-95.

    "I looked in that dugout and saw several guys I know," La Russa said. "I'm glad it's only two more games, and then I can go back to pulling for them."

    Pinch-hitter Marlon Anderson sparked a five-run seventh inning with a two-run, go-ahead single, helping the Cardinals end the A's eight-game winning streak.

    Albert Pujols was 1-for-4 with two RBI for the Cardinals in his first appearance at first base in eight games. Pujols has been hampered by a strained left hamstring, an injury that reduced him to DH duties during a weekend series at Texas.

    The Athletics entered 18-0 all-time against the NL Central, but three pitchers faced 11 batters in the pivotal seventh. The Cardinals are 14-5 since May 26, and moved to 10 games above .500 for the first time. They succeeded in their fifth try.

    "Half the battle is getting there, and then you've got to stay above it, right?" La Russa said. "That's a big number for us."

    Matt Morris (7-5) worked around two-run homers to Damian Miller and Mark Kotsay, allowing four runs on six hits in seven innings. Morris has given up an NL-high 21 homers this season, one more than he allowed last year.

    "Both of those home runs should have been hit hard," Morris said. "One of them is going to drop for a double, I know it -- one of those days."

    Jason Isringhausen got one out for his 14th save in 17 opportunities.

    Anderson is 7-for-18 with four RBI as a pinch hitter, and his bases-loaded single off Justin Duchscherer with one out in the seventh put the Cardinals ahead 5-4.

    "I stay active and Tony gives me at-bats, making sure I'm fresh and ready for a big situation like that," Anderson said. "It's paying off right now."

    Chad Bradford (3-3) issued a one-out walk to Jim Edmonds, and Reggie Sanders singled to put runners on first and third. Ricardo Rincon came in and walked Hector Luna to load the bases. Duchscherer then came in and gave up Anderson's two-run single.

    Pinch-hitter Cody McKay, Tony Womack and Edgar Renteria followed with consecutive RBI singles off Duchscherer for an 8-4 lead.

    Bradford allowed two runs on one hit and walked one in 1 1-3 innings.

    A's starter Barry Zito battled wildness, throwing 115 pitches in five innings. Heavily emphasizing his curve, Zito gave up two earned runs on seven hits and struck out eight -- including Sanders all three times.

    "I had nothing tonight," Zito said. "The outs weren't coming quick at all. Guys were working the counts and there were tons of foul balls, and whenever you have that combination you're looking for a high pitch count."

    Zito has lasted only five innings in each of his last two outings, also giving up five runs and getting the victory against the Reds on June 8.

    The Cardinals stranded nine runners the first four innings, trailing 4-3 at that juncture. Pujols had a sacrifice fly and Edmonds had a run-scoring single in the first and Pujols added an RBI single in the second.

    But Zito's pitch count forced the Athletics to go to the bullpen early.

    "They've got a lot of veteran guys, good hitters, and they've got them spaced out left-right, left-right," manager Ken Macha said. "Once you paint yourself in that corner, you're looking down a barrel."

    Game notes

    The A's winning streak was their longest since they took 10 in a row from Aug. 23-Sept. 2, 2003. ... Tuesday was the 40th anniversary of the Cardinals' trade for Lou Brock, the catalyst for three World Series teams in the 1960s. Bing Devine, the general manager who sent P Ernie Broglio to the Cubs, was in attendance. ... Rams QB Chris Chandler took swings in the batting cage about three hours before the game. ... Despite the loss, the A's are a major league-best 81-48 in interleague play. ... Renteria had three hits for the Cardinals, and Bobby Crosby had his first four-hit game for the A's.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press