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Cardinals suffer third straight defeat

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- At last, the Pittsburgh Pirates got to shake
hands after a game with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Matt Morris lost for the first time since Game 2 of the World
Series, getting knocked out in the fourth inning as the Pirates
beat St. Louis 11-7 Thursday night to end their 12-game losing
streak against the Cardinals.

Pittsburgh manager Lloyd McClendon said he wasn't aware of the
streak, nor was he concerned about stopping it.

"Guys, I'll tell you and I'm serious, I didn't know it was 12
games until somebody brought it up," McClendon said. "This is the
life we live. You have to have the mentality that when it's over,
it's over. You get ready for the next one.

"The only thing I was concerned about was tonight."

Dave Williams (6-5), backed by a 5-1 lead in the third, allowed
four runs -- three earned -- and six hits in six innings. He had been
0-2 against St. Louis this season.

"They've been kicking us around you know," Williams said. "To
come into their place and playing the team leading the division,
you want to make up some ground. It definitely feels good."

Tike Redman and Jose Castillo each had three hits for the
Pirates, who had not beaten the Cardinals since last Aug. 19.

"Every game is a big win for us," Redman said. "Every day, we
have to take it day by day. We got to play them three more times.
We won this one but we've got to play them again tomorrow."

Pittsburgh, which had lost eight of its previous 10 games
overall, took an 11-2 lead before the Cardinals closed.

Rick White relieved with the bases loaded and one out in the
ninth. He allowed a sacrifice fly to Albert Pujols before retiring
Reggie Sanders on a game-ending flyout for his second save in three
chances.

"It was just one of those days where the other team beat us to
the punch all night long," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said.
"Better pitching, better hitting, better fielding, they just
outplayed us."

St. Louis, which has lost three straight for the second time
this season, made three errors, its highest total since a
five-error game May 22 in a 9-2 loss to Kansas City.

Morris (8-1), unbeaten in 12 previous starts this season, was
chased after two batters in the fourth inning, his shortest outing
since he got six outs at San Diego on Sept. 8. He allowed six runs
-- just three earned -- and seven hits.

I threw a lot of pitches in three innings, 87 pitches," Morris
said. "It's not a good day to do that; it's never a good day to do
that. I was falling behind, not executing pitches and I put us in a
big hole. I made some mistakes when I got ahead and I didn't finish
them off."

Morris had won five consecutive decisions against the Pirates
since June 2, 2002. He followed poor outings by Jason Marquis and
Mark Mulder. In the three games, the trio combined to give up 23
runs (16 earned) and 26 hits in 9 1/3 innings.

"I think more than anything it was just an off night for
Matt," McClendon said. "You don't see that very often from him. I
think we caught a break. He just didn't have his best stuff."

Pujols' 19th homer put St. Louis ahead in the first, but
Williams hit an RBI grounder in the second and the Pirates scored
four runs in the third.

Daryle Ward had a go-ahead single off the right-field wall,
Humberto Cota hit a sacrifice fly and Jack Wilson's line drive to
left grazed of the glove of a leaping Sanders for a two-base error.

Cota added an RBI single in the fourth off Cal Eldred for a 6-1
lead.

Yadier Molina had a run-scoring double in the fifth, but the
Pirates made it 11-2 in the sixth against Randy Flores. Rob
Mackowiak hit a liner that Flores knocked down and threw to the
backstop for a two-run error. Ward and Cota hit sacrifice flies,
and Castillo hit a solo homer.

Game notes
Plate umpire Rick Reed left the game in the bottom of the
fifth inning after he was struck in the head by a foul ball. Reed
complained of dizziness and headaches and was sent to a hospital
for observation. The game was delayed for 10 minutes while Ted
Barrett, who was at second base, put on gear and moved behind the
plate.