Edmonds homered twice, giving him seven in six games, and the
Cardinals powered past the San Diego Padres 9-3 on Tuesday night."You never know what you're going to get," Edmonds said. "I
definitely didn't expect to hit two home runs tonight, but it's
just one of those things."So I'll just enjoy it while it lasts."Pujols and Edgar Renteria each homered and had three hits for
the NL Central leaders. Reggie Sanders also had three hits, and
drove in a run.Woody Williams (10-7) became the fifth member of the Cardinals'
rotation to reach double figures in victories."It seems like a long time coming from April to now," Williams
said. "It's obviously a nice feeling to at least somewhat catch up
to the rest of the guys."The Cardinals beat up on 13-game winner Brian Lawrence and San
Diego's bullpen to win their fourth in a row, and lowered their
magic number for clinching the division to 16.St. Louis also beat one of its potential opponents in the
playoffs: the Padres are battling for the wild-card spot and have
won six of eight on a 10-game trip."We're trying to win ballgames and not think what could happen
at this stage," Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. "We've had a
good road trip up until now and we know we've got to play our best
ball here, and tonight we didn't."Edmonds was 3-for-3 with his 37th and 38th homers, two walks and
an RBI single. He connected off Lawrence (13-11) to lead off the
second and again off Steve Watkins in the seventh on the front end
of back-to-back homers with Renteria.In his last six games, Edmonds has 13 RBI. He's two shy of
giving the Cardinals three straight 100-RBI hammers in the lineup
along with Rolen (113) and Pujols (103)."You know what? We wouldn't be here without any of them,"
Sanders said. "So I'd vote for all three of them -- tied for
first."Brian Giles homered, and Ryan Klesko and Ramon Hernandez each
had RBI for the Padres.Williams worked seven innings and gave up three runs on seven
hits to join Matt Morris (14) and Chris Carpenter, Jeff Suppan and
Jason Marquis, who have 13 wins apiece. He struck out six and
walked none and is 4-0 with a 2.25 ERA against the Padres, for whom
he played from 1999-2001.Williams has won seven of his last eight decisions, and the
Cardinals have won 13 of his last 14 starts. He rebounded from two
spotty outings in which he gave up five runs in six innings each
time.The Cardinals led by a run before the fifth when a single by
Larry Walker, an RBI double by Pujols, an RBI triple by Rolen and a
single by Edmonds made it 5-1. Giles' 19th homer in the sixth and
an RBI double by Hernandez in the seventh cut the gap to two.Homers by Edmonds and Renteria leading off the seventh against
Watkins restored the two-run cushion, and Pujols hit a two-run
homer off Ricky Stone in the eighth.Lawrence lasted 4 1-3 innings, one out more than his season low,
and gave up five runs on 12 hits. He entered with consecutive
complete-game victories, allowing one run on 11 hits in 18 innings.Against the Cardinals, he said he didn't have his good sinker.
That's his best pitch."If I go out there without it, I'm already at a disadvantage,"
Lawrence said. "I can't throw a flat 84 mph fastball and that's
basically what I had."I tried to move it in and out the best I could and I thought I
was going to get through with limited damage, but they ended up
getting me in the fifth."
Edmonds has 23 career multihomer games, three this season.
The Cardinals have hit back-to-back homers seven times. ... The
Cardinals have outscored the opposition 76-50 in the second inning.
... Mark McGwire made a rare visit to Busch Stadium before the
game, filming a commercial for Hardee's. ... Phil Nevin was 0-for-4
with two strikeouts, ending a 10-game road hitting streak. He had
been 20-for-42 during the run with three homers. ... The Cardinals
were 21-7 in August after going 21-5 in July.