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St. Louis 11, Seattle 2

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Woody Williams was determined to keep pitching,
even after a two-hour rain delay.

Williams stayed loose during a downpour and came back even
stronger, combining with three relievers on a six-hitter Friday
night in the St. Louis Cardinals' 11-2 victory over the Seattle
Mariners.

"There wasn't any doubt in my mind," Williams said. "That's
pretty much how I have to treat it.

"If I start wondering back and forth, teetering, it takes me
out of my game."

Williams also doubled and scored for the Cardinals, who stopped
a three-game losing streak. The NL Central leader, which has the
league's best record at 47-32, has not lost more than three in a
row all season. The Cardinals improved to 9-1 in interleague games.

"That's one way to have a good year," manager Tony La Russa
said. "It's hard to be that consistent, but we're going in that
direction."

Reggie Sanders homered and had an RBI double, and Albert Pujols
drove in three runs and scored three times. John Mabry had a
three-run homer in the sixth, and Scott Rolen drove in his major
league-leading 77th run.

Ichiro Suzuki had two hits in Seattle's first regular-season
game at St. Louis. The Mariners lost for the eighth time in 11
games.

Williams (6-6) gave up a run in the first when Suzuki got a
leadoff single, stole second, advanced on a groundout and scored on
Jolbert Cabrera's sacrifice fly. After Suzuki's hit, he retired his
next 13 batters in order, interrupted by a rain delay with one out
in the top of the third.

"I was better," Williams said. "I told somebody I'll warm up
the next time at 4:30 and then go sit around."

Williams, who lost five of his first six decisions, is 3-0 with
a 1.67 ERA in his last four starts. He allowed three hits, struck
out four and walked none.

"He was great and he can hit, too," Mariners manager Bob
Melvin said. "Wherever I've been and watched him pitch he's an
impressive guy."

Two of the Mariners' first five batters broke their bats against
Williams, who also barehanded Cabrera's broken-bat soft liner in
the fourth.

Kiko Calero, Ray King and Cal Eldred allowed three hits in
relief.

Sanders' second-inning homer, his 14th of the season and second
in two games, was the only hit allowed by Jamie Moyer, who left
after the delay, having pitched two innings.

Melvin said there was no question that Moyer would not return.

"We're probably on the careful side but certainly after an
hour, for me, that's it," Melvin said. "We certainly don't need a
rain delay tomorrow."

St. Louis scored five runs in 2 1-3 innings against his
replacement, rookie Matt Thornton (0-1).

Thornton, who pitched four scoreless innings against San Diego
in his debut Sunday, gave up five hits and walked five.

"We just had trouble tonight throwing strikes," second baseman
Bret Boone said. "We were behind in the count a lot and if you do
that at this level you get beat."

St. Louis had three doubles in a three-run third that put the
Cardinals ahead 4-1. In perhaps the biggest play of the inning,
Edgar Renteria barely beat the throw from Cabrera in left field on
Pujols' RBI single.

Renteria and Pujols walked to start the fifth, and Rolen hit an
RBI single and So Taguchi was walked by J.J. Putz with the bases
loaded.

Game notes
John Olerud homered in the ninth to end an 0-for-16 slide.
... Bret Boone is 0-for-12 against Williams. ... The Cardinals went
288 at-bats between homers with men on base before Mabry connected
off Putz in the sixth. Mabry had been in a 2-for-14 slide. ...
Sanders, who entered 1-for-14 against the Mariners, went 2-for-5.