Pujols' third hit provides eventual winning run

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The Cardinals rallied for yet another win just
as they were completing a trade for star outfielder Larry Walker.

Not a bad night in St. Louis.

"He's a great player," slugger Albert Pujols said. "We just
got better."

Pujols' third hit snapped a seventh-inning tie, and Matt Morris
followed another shaky outing with a strong one, helping the
Cardinals beat the New York Mets 6-4 Friday night.

The Cardinals, who won for the 14th time in 18 games, improved
the NL's best offense by adding Walker in a trade with Colorado for
Class-A closer Jason Burch and two minor league players to be

Walker fills the only void in the lineup for a team that leads
the NL with a .281 average, helping St. Louis to a major
league-best 70-38 record. The Cardinals have used a variety of
players in left field, and now right fielder Reggie Sanders
probably will move to left to make room for Walker.

Sanders didn't seem to mind changing positions.

"It's good to get a proven veteran, a guy that you fear at the
plate, and definitely a great outfielder," Sanders said. "I'm
here to do whatever I need to do."

Pujols is 12-for-28 (.429) during a six-game hitting streak with
two homers, including a game-winner in the ninth against the Expos
on Wednesday. This time, his hit off Tom Glavine helped end the
Mets' three-game winning streak.

"A guy like Glavine, it's like facing (Greg) Maddux," Pujols
said. "You won't beat those guys with a homer, you have to beat
them with a bunch of singles the other way and up the middle, and
that was our plan tonight."

Glavine said Pujols hit a changeup two feet outside for his RBI
single in the sixth, and did it again in the seventh after he had
pounded him with inside pitches.

"I thought if I throw the same changeup right here, having
established inside, there's no way he's going to hit it again,"
Glavine said. "And he did. That's why he's a great hitter and a
great player."

Mike Cameron and Richard Hidalgo hit consecutive solo homers off
Kiko Calero in the ninth. Jason Isringhausen got two outs for his
29th save in 34 chances.

Cliff Floyd hit a two-run homer, his 15th, off Morris for the
game's first runs in the sixth.

But the Cardinals rallied to tie it while the trade for Walker,
a three-time NL batting champion, was being announced.

Sanders, who returned to the lineup after missing five games
with a ribcage injury, played a role in the two-run sixth. His
infield hit advanced Pujols to third, and he scored on Hector
Luna's sacrifice fly to tie it at 2.

The inning featured a perfect bunt by Jim Edmonds. Third baseman
David Wright allowed the ball to roll and it stopped directly in
the middle of the baseline near the bag.

Morris reached on shortstop Kaz Matsui's two-base throwing error
to start the seventh. Pinch-runner Marlon Anderson went to third on
a sacrifice and scored on Pujols' two-out hit.

The Cardinals opened it up in the eighth with RBI singles by
pinch-hitter Tony Womack, Roger Cedeno and So Taguchi -- all off
Mike DeJean.

Morris (12-7) worked seven innings, allowing two runs on five
hits with three strikeouts and two walks. He's been off and on his
last five starts, allowing three earned runs in 22 innings in
victories at Cincinnati and against the Giants.

"He always responds," manager Tony La Russa said. "He's had a
hiccup or two this year but we have great confidence in Matt."

Two of his last five starts have been poor. He lasted a total of
2 1-3 innings, giving up 15 runs, in losses to Chicago on July 20
and at San Francisco on July 31 -- his last start.

Glavine (8-10) allowed four runs, three earned, and eight hits
in 7 1-3 innings. He escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first and
picked off two runners, but gave up two runs and four hits in the

Glavine fell to 1-8 in his last nine starts and 16-6 with a 3.70
ERA in his career against the Cardinals. This was his first loss
against St. Louis since May 4, 2001, in Atlanta when he was with
the Braves.

"I guess if it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have any,"
Glavine said. "They obviously have a great club and they keep
coming at you, forcing you to make pitches."

Game notes
The Mets have 17 homers in their last 11 games. ... Taguchi
was 1-for-3 with a sacrifice and is 5-for-8 with two doubles and
two RBI against Mets pitching. ... The Cardinals are 47-16 since
May 27, and 8-2 against the Mets the last two seasons.