Padres take 2 of 3 from Cards

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- This was vintage Boomer.

Stoked to be pitching against baseball's best team, David Wells
threw seven strong innings and even drove in two runs to lead the
San Diego Padres to a 10-5 win against the St. Louis Cardinals on

"To go out there against this ballclub and pitch like I did was
great because I've been waiting for them," said the 41-year-old
lefty, who labored through the first inning in his hometown's heat
but finished strong.

Wells (10-7) was backed by home runs by Phil Nevin and Ryan
Klesko off Matt Morris, who was knocked out before he could get an
out in the third inning.

"Boomer came through big-time," manager Bruce Bochy said.
"And we caught Morris on an off day."

This was the kind of game the Padres envisioned Wells thriving
in when they signed him away from the New York Yankees on Dec. 31.

Wells' turn in the rotation didn't come up in last week's series
in St. Louis, when the Cardinals embarrassed the Padres in a
three-game sweep, outscoring them 20-7 and hitting 10 homers to San
Diego's one.

When Wells got his chance, he held the Cardinals to two runs on
three hits and striking out six while walking none.

"I was fired up," Wells said. "I was ready for this ballclub.
They're so powerful and explosive, and that's the team that I want
to face. I want to be the guy on the mound and see what they've

Wells threw 27 pitches in the first inning, even though only one
Cardinals batter reached base. He had an 11-pitch at-bat against
Scott Rolen, who finally lined out to right to end the inning.

After giving up So Taguchi's two-run homer with one out in the
third, Wells allowed only one other baserunner -- when he committed
a fielding error on Albert Pujols' nubber down the first-base line
with two outs in the sixth.

The Padres, in the playoff chase for the first time since losing
the 1998 World Series to Wells' Yankees, won two of three against
the Cardinals. It was a remarkable feat, considering that the
Padres have won just eight of 42 games against the Cardinals since
the start of the 1999 season.

Morris (15-9) was coming off a career-best two-hit shutout
against NL West-leading Los Angeles, but he was lifted after
allowing Klesko's two-run shot to right that gave the Padres a 7-2
lead in the third. It was just the seventh for Klesko, who's
struggled at the Padres' new downtown ballpark.

Nevin was on board after hitting a two-run single into the
right-center gap.

"It was not my day," Morris said. "It's just one of those
things. I was leaving too many balls out over the plate and you
just can't do that."

Morris allowed seven runs and five hits, walked three and had no
strikeouts. It was just the fourth time in 29 starts he failed to
pitch at least six innings.

"He was out of whack," manager Tony La Russa said. "He just
had a tough day."

Nevin finished with three hits and three RBI. He homered into
the left-field seats leading off the second, his 23rd, to start a
three-run inning. Miguel Ojeda also had three hits.

"We match up better with this team in this ballpark," Nevin
said. "You take away some of the power stuff that's on their end,
it helps us out a lot. We did our job today offensively and
obviously Boomer did his."

Wells had two RBI with his bases-loaded fielder's choice with
one out in the second. Ojeda was intentionally walked to load the
bases and bring up Wells. The lefty hit a grounder to second
baseman Hector Luna. Instead of being a routine out, Wells was safe
after Albert Pujols' foot came off first base just before the throw
got there.

That brought in Klesko, and Khalil Greene came around from
second to score while Ojeda was caught in a rundown.

"Two unexpected RBI," Wells said. "I'll take it. Hopefully
you get that one run across, but he left early and two runs

San Diego added three runs in the seventh off left-hander Carmen
Cali, who was making his big league debut. Ojeda and Ramon Vazquez
had RBI singles, and Greene a sacrifice fly.

St. Louis' Marlon Anderson hit a pinch homer off Ricky Stone in
the eighth to highlight the three-run inning.

Andy Ashby threw a perfect ninth in his season debut for the
Padres. The Padres purchased his minor league contract on Sunday
after he successfully rehabbed his surgically repaired right elbow.

Ashby, one of two players left from the '98 Series team,
received a standing ovation from the crowd of 34,277. He said he
was so nervous he wasn't sure where his first pitch would end up.

"The fan reaction was incredible," Ashby said. "It was

Game notes
The Cardinals have lost just two of their last 13 series.
... The Padres play their final 23 games against NL West clubs,
starting Thursday at Colorado. Chasing both Los Angeles and San
Francisco, they have seven games left against the Dodgers and six
against the Giants.