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At 60-34, Cardinals lead the majors

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Woody Williams took care of everything.

Williams threw seven innings of five-hit ball in 93-degree heat,
got two of the St. Louis Cardinals' three hits and scored in a 1-0
victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday night.

"Hopefully this is the only time it's going to happen,"
Williams said. "They pitched good and I definitely got lucky on
the second hit, and ended up scoring a run."

Edgar Renteria hit a sixth-inning sacrifice fly for the
Cardinals (60-34), who have the best record in the major leagues
and have won 11 of 12 at home. Overall, they've won 14 of their
last 16 .

Williams (7-6) outdueled Victor Santos (9-4) to move above .500
for the first time. He began the year 1-5 after being limited to
five innings in spring training due to shoulder tendinitis, but is
4-0 with a 2.49 ERA in his last seven starts.

"Woody stepped up," manager Tony La Russa said. "To pitch
seven innings in that heat with no margin for error --
outstanding."

Jason Isringhausen, the third Cardinals pitcher, worked the
ninth for his 25th save in 29 chances. He has saves each of the
last three days and struck out two of the three Brewers he faced,
likely earning a day off on Thursday.

"No problem," Isringhausen said. "I don't want to miss saves,
but I don't want to get hurt, either."

Williams, who has 99 career victories, also had his first
two-hit game of the year with a pair of singles. He reached on a
bloop hit to start the sixth, went to third on a fielding error by
second baseman Bill Hall and scored on Renteria's one-out fly to
right.

Ben Grieve appeared poised for a throw to the plate but changed
his mind and threw to second to keep Tony Womack at first. Both
managers agreed it was the right call.

"I was hoping he'd throw it because then we'd have gotten that
extra base," La Russa said. "Tony was tagged up and ready to.
That was a smart play."

"How is he going to throw him out from deep right?" Brewers
manager Ned Yost said. "He's got no chance, less than zero. I'd
much rather have the ball towards second."

Williams, who grew up and lives in humid Houston, appeared to
gain strength as the game went along. Five of his strikeouts came
in the last three innings.

"Early on I felt good," Williams said. "But I didn't have the
command I had in the end."

Santos lost for the first time in eight road decisions this
season, although he permitted only an unearned run in six innings.
He gave up three hits with three strikeouts and a walk in his first
career start against the Cardinals.

"I'm satisfied with the performance but I could have made a
couple of better pitches to Renteria," Santos said. "But that's
baseball."

The Brewers were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position
against Williams. In the fifth, the .050-hitting Santos was
stranded after a leadoff double.

Game notes
Brewers LF Geoff Jenkins left the game due to heat
exhaustion after 3 1-2 innings on his 30th birthday. He took IV
fluids in the clubhouse. "You worry about the body shutting
down," Jenkins said. "I'll be good tomorrow, but I'll sleep
tonight." ... The Brewers are 5-3 against the Cardinals, one of
only two teams in the major leagues with a winning record against
them. Milwaukee took three of four in a season-opening series in
St. Louis and is 5-3 overall. ... Santos is 7-1 with a 2.50 ERA on
the road in nine starts. ... Williams is 73-46 with a 3.64 ERA at
night and 25-36 with a 4.97 ERA in day games. He's 10-5 against the
Brewers, beating them more than any team. He has nine victories
over the Astros. ... Renteria made an outstanding play at SS to end
the eighth, gloving Lyle Overbay's grounder up the middle, stepping
back to tag second and then throwing to first off his back foot to
first for a double play. ... The Cardinals didn't win their 60th
game last year until Aug. 9.