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Cards sweep season series with L.A.; Marquis first in NL to 12 wins

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Pitching on his normal four days' rest, Jason Marquis bounced back from an awful outing.

Facing the Los Angeles Dodgers' suddenly anemic offense didn't
hurt, either.

Marquis became the NL's first 12-game winner and the St. Louis
Cardinals used two home runs from Juan Encarnacion to beat the
Dodgers 6-1 Sunday, sweeping the season series for the first time
in the 115-year rivalry.

Marquis originally was slated to pitch Monday in Colorado. But
after allowing 12 runs and 14 hits over five innings last Tuesday
in a 14-5 loss to Atlanta, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa thought
pitching Sunday would give Marquis a better chance to redeem
himself. Dodger Stadium's spacious outfield is more forgiving than
Coors Field, and Marquis has given up a league-worst 24 homers.

"Whether I pitched today or tomorrow, I would have prepared
either way," Marquis said. "The situation in Colorado, with the
ball flying out of there, maybe Tony just didn't want to put me in
a position for a game to possibly get out of hand. But I prepared
myself for five days' rest."

The temperature reached 92 degrees at gametime and about 110 on
the field. But it hardly bothered Marquis (12-7), who allowed four
hits over eight shutout innings on 106 pitches. He struck out two
and walked none.

"I treat each start as its own individual one and I put the
previous one behind me," Marquis said. "I felt like I was way off
mechanically from where I was, so I went back to look at tapes from
'04 and made the proper adjustments. And it paid off. I kept
throwing strike one and kept my sinker down in the zone."

The Cardinals set a franchise record by homering in their 19th
consecutive game, courtesy of Encarnacion's two solo shots. Scott Rolen and rookie Chris Duncan each added a two-run single in the
fifth for St. Louis, which finished 7-0 against the Dodgers this
year.

"This team this year really doesn't play by the long ball, so
it's surprising," Jim Edmonds said. "We have a lot of guys who
are pretty good at doing their jobs, doing everything right and
being above-average, as far as power. I mean, if you told me we
were going to have three or four guys hit 30 or 40 homers, I
wouldn't believe you. But I think we're capable of having five or
six guys with 20."

The three-game sweep was the Cardinals' first at Dodger Stadium
since April 1993. They have won nine straight against Los Angeles
and 15 of the last 19 meetings -- including a four-game sweep last
week in St. Louis. Overall, the NL Central leaders have won 11 of
13 and lead Cincinnati by five games.

The only other time the Dodgers were swept in a season series by
an NL club since moving to Los Angeles in 1958 was in 1994, when
Atlanta was 6-0 against them. But a players strike that year wiped
out the final seven scheduled meetings between the teams.

"I'm glad we're done playing them because they're going to get
hot," La Russa said. "I don't want to spend the rest of the
season having to beat Brad Penny a couple more times, because
that's not going to happen."

The Dodgers are 1-10 with three shutout losses since the
All-Star break -- two of them against St. Louis -- and have been
outscored 57-17 during this stretch. The Cardinals outscored them
35-8 in the seven games.

"We ran into a buzzsaw with St. Louis," manager Grady Little
said. "We've just got to keep working. These guys are
professionals and they know how to correct it. The ball's in their
court."

Rookie Chad Billingsley (1-3) gave up six runs -- five earned --
and six hits over five-plus innings and walked five in his eighth
big league start, after pitching seven scoreless innings in
Tuesday's 5-2 win at Arizona and five scoreless frames against the
Cardinals on July 13.

"No one hit the ball hard except for Encarnacion," Billingsley
said.

Encarnacion connected in the second to open the scoring. It was
the first run Billingsley allowed in 15 innings since giving up a
three-run homer to Barry Bonds on July 7.

Encarnacion's 14th homer in the sixth gave him four career
multihomer games. The home runs helped the Cardinals eclipse their
previous mark for consecutive games with a homer, set in April
2000.

St. Louis broke it open with four runs in the fifth. Duncan
drove in two with a bases-loaded single. Albert Pujols was
intentionally walked with first base occupied, loading the bases
again for Rolen, who hit a two-run single. The Cardinals are
batting .312 in bases-loaded situations.

Game notes
After the game, the Dodgers traded little-used C Sandy
Alomar Jr.
to the Chicago White Sox for minor league RHP B.J.
LaMura and announced that OF Jason Repko would be activated from
the 60-day disabled list on Monday. ... Pujols was 0-for-2 with two
walks, ending his longest hitting streak of the season at 11 games.
... Dodgers 1B Nomar Garciaparra turned 33. Also born on this date
were the late Don Drysdale and Pee Wee Reese, whose jersey numbers
were retired by the club in the same ceremony on July 1, 1984. ...
The Cardinals are 16-4 against the Dodgers over the last three
seasons. They also won three of four against Los Angeles in the
2004 division series.