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Marquis shuts down Brewers

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The St. Louis Cardinals' vaunted lineup is
taking a backseat to the rotation.

Jason Marquis threw eight sharp innings, Jim Edmonds homered off
Ben Sheets and the Cardinals shut out the Milwaukee Brewers for the
second consecutive game, 4-0 Thursday night.

"We've got a bunch of guys throwing the ball great here and
we're all feeding off each other," Marquis said. "Hopefully we
can keep it rolling through the rest of the season."

Edgar Renteria, Albert Pujols and John Mabry drove in a run
apiece to help the Cardinals sweep the two-game series. They also
shut out the Brewers 1-0 on Wednesday, and Thursday was the eighth
time Milwaukee has been blanked this year.

In the two games, the Brewers managed 15 hits and had only one
extra-base hit. That came from pitcher Victor Santos on Wednesday.

"It's kind of been the story the past few weeks," Lyle Overbay
said after going 0-for-4. "We just can't come up with that clutch
hit."

The Cardinals, who have the best record in the major leagues at
61-34, have won 12 of their last 13 at home. Overall, they've won
15 of 17.

Sheets (9-7) allowed four runs, matching his season worst, on a
season-high nine hits. He lasted 5 2-3 innings, the first time he
didn't pitch six innings since April 15 -- a string of 17 outings.

"He struggled just a little bit, but he got it going and
pitched great," manager Ned Yost said. "That's just a
good-hitting team over there."

Marquis (10-4) tied Matt Morris and Chris Carpenter for the team
lead in victories and made the Cardinals the only team with three
10-game winners. He's 7-0 in his last nine starts and 9-1 in his
last 12 appearances.

Last year, Marquis was winless with the Braves and spent half of
the year in the minors before coming to the Cardinals in a trade
that sent J.D. Drew to Atlanta.

"He just needed a change of scenery," said Yost, a former
Braves coach. "It was a great trade. I told Tony (La Russa) 'I
think you're really going to like this kid."

Marquis scattered nine hits with two strikeouts and one walk,
constantly keeping the ball down. Geoff Jenkins' drive to the
warning track in left to end the fifth was the first flyout by the
Brewers, and Cardinals outfielders made only five putouts in all.

"I had good defense working behind me and I was keeping the
ball down and making some pitches," Marquis said. "If I didn't
have that defense behind me, I don't know what I'd do."

Julian Tavarez pitched the ninth to finish the 10-hitter, St.
Louis' sixth shutout of the season.

Marquis also doubled in the sixth for his 12th hit, which leads
NL pitchers. He's batting .286 with five RBI and has 11 hits in
his last 22 at-bats.

Sheets had been 6-1 with a 0.82 ERA in starts this year
following a Brewers loss. But the Cardinals jumped on him in the
first with a leadoff single by Marlon Anderson, an RBI double by
Renteria and a run-scoring, opposite-field single by Pujols for a
quick 2-0 lead.

"There's something about the first inning," Sheets said. "I
just have to get going earlier."

Sheets retired the next 10 in a row before Edmonds hit his 23rd
homer an estimated 430 feet over the right-field wall to make it
3-0 in the fourth.

Roger Cedeno turned a bad-hop grounder to first into a triple
with one out in the sixth and scored when Mabry's pop fly to
shallow left dropped between three fielders for an RBI single.

The Brewers have lost six of eight to fall to .500.

Game notes
Edmonds has homered in six of his last seven home games.
Seventeen of his 23 homers have come with the bases empty. ...
Jenkins returned to the Brewers' lineup after heat exhaustion
forced him to leave in the fourth inning Wednesday, his 30th
birthday. He went 0-for-4. ... It was 93 degrees at gametime, but
with storm clouds threatening the temperature dropped to 77 degrees
by the eighth inning. ... The Cardinals are 10-0-2 in their last 12
home series.