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Edmonds' triple fuels Cards' big inning

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- While their teammates meandered through the
clubhouse after yet another victory for the St. Louis Cardinals,
Jason Isringhausen and Woody Williams absently watched the
television highlights from around the league.

"I thought they traded him," Isringhausen said, referring to
Dodgers catcher Paul Lo Duca. Williams only shrugged.

The Cardinals can afford to be relaxed. The majors' best team
went 30 games over .500 on the eve of the trade deadline,
countering Barry Bonds' 685th homer with a six-run rally in the
sixth inning of a 7-4 victory over the San Francisco Giants on
Friday night.

Jim Edmonds had a two-run triple during the rally, and St.
Louis' pitching staff made it stand up for the Cardinals' fifth
straight win. They improved to 66-36, two games better than the
Yankees.

"Lately, we've been doing everything right," said
Isringhausen, who pitched the ninth for his 27th save in 31
chances. "You can bolster a position here and there (at the
deadline), but you might mess up what's going on. We should just go
out there with what we've got."

Tony Womack tripled to start the Cardinals' decisive rally, and
Mike Matheny added a two-run double as St. Louis rallied from an
early three-run deficit. Renteria had an RBI single, and Roger
Cedeno added a run-scoring double during the rally. Scott Rolen
drove in another run in the seventh.

"It doesn't mean anything to be 30 games over .500," said
Womack, who got two hits, scored two runs and stole a base. "We're
still sticking to our goal to win every series. That's the only
thing we're shooting for."

The Cardinals actually struggled to score while losing seven of
their last nine meetings with San Francisco, but runs weren't a
problem in the opener of a three-game series.

"They play for big innings, and they have a lot of firepower to
score many runs," San Francisco manager Felipe Alou said. "If you
leave the gate open, they'll do what they did tonight."

Bonds' two-run shot into McCovey Cove was his 27th of the
season, and his second in two days. Michael Tucker also homered in
the first inning, but the Giants' bullpen fell apart after starter
Jerome Williams left midway through the fourth with tightness in
his elbow.

Shortly before the game, San Francisco traded reliever Felix
Rodriguez to Philadelphia for outfielder Ricky Ledee and a minor
league pitcher, further eroding the depth in the Giants'
inconsistent bullpen.

Jerome Williams retired nine of the 10 hitters he faced, but
left the game with a 1-2 count on Edgar Renteria. The Giants didn't
immediately announce the problem with Williams, who appeared to be
favoring his left leg.

Reliever Tyler Walker pitched well into the sixth, but Womack's
one-out triple was followed by five more hits off Walker and Jim
Brower (6-6), who gave up four hits and four runs while getting
just two outs.

"I was one pitch from getting out of it, but starting with
Edmonds' at-bat, I couldn't keep the ball down," Brower said. "It
was triple, double, double. That's the best lineup in the league.
They put pressure on you throughout the lineup, and you've got to
make your pitches, or you're in trouble."

Chris Carpenter (11-4) recovered from a rocky beginning for his
third victory in five starts. He allowed seven hits -- three homers
-- and four runs in 6 2-3 innings, escaping a bases-loaded jam in
the fourth.

"He just missed his location (in the first inning), and that's
three runs," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said. "But he showed
a lot of toughness coming back and making his pitches. That wasn't
a great way to start, but I know we always have a chance."

Before Bonds' shot, Tucker hit his ninth homer of the season to
the deepest part of the stands. Tucker has been a moderate
disappointment in his first season with the Giants, and his playing
time will decrease with Ledee's arrival.

Deivi Cruz added a solo homer in the seventh. The Giants got two
runners on with nobody out in the eighth, but A.J. Pierzynski
grounded into his major league-leading 20th double play.

Ray Durham also left the Giants' lineup in the fifth inning with
an injured left wrist.

Game notes
St. Louis reliever Ray King hit Bonds with a pitch leading
off the eighth. ... Renteria was caught stealing in the fourth
inning when Durham fielded Pierzynski's throw on a hop and tagged
Renteria in the face. Durham apparently was hurt while making the
tag. ... San Francisco is looking to trade for a reliever, but
isn't willing to sacrifice its top prospects.