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Williams extends scoreless streak to 19 2/3 innings

4/19/2003

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- So far, Woody Williams is untouchable.

Williams pitched seven shutout innings to extend his scoreless
streak this season to 19 2/3 innings as the St. Louis Cardinals
beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-3 Friday night for their fifth
victory in six games.

"It's a nice streak I'm on, but it can't last forever,"
Williams said. "The bottom line is I try to go out there every
inning and put up a zero, and right now it's working."

Edgar Renteria homered and doubled and Tino Martinez had two
hits, a walk and an RBI for St. Louis in the first meeting against
Arizona since the Cardinals swept the Diamondbacks in the first
round of the playoffs.

The Cardinals, who entered the game with an NL-leading .309
average, had five doubles despite missing Albert Pujols, who has a
sprained right elbow and could be limited to pinch hit duties for
three weeks.

"Pujols is a big loss, but we have to keep playing like we're
playing," Renteria said. "We have to push a little more."

Williams (3-0) didn't allow a baserunner until he hit David
Delluci to start the fifth and didn't allow a hit until Lyle
Overbay's broken-bat single to the opposite field with one out in
the fifth. He struck out five and walked none and has not allowed a
run in three starts this season.

Williams is 19-5 since the Cardinals acquired him from the
Padres in August 2001 and has allowed three or fewer runs in 26 of
his last 27 regular-season starts. During that span, he has a 1.86
ERA.

"I think if he ever comes out there in a Cardinal uniform and
doesn't have real good stuff and real good location, we're all
going to pass out," manager Tony La Russa said. "We're getting so
used to him doing exactly that.

"That is a dangerous lineup and he made great pitches when he
had to, and he's been doing it every time."

The NL West champion Diamondbacks avoided their third shutout of
the season when Steve Finley hit a three-run homer with two outs in
the ninth. Arizona (5-12) had been coming off consecutive victories
for the first time of the season.

Manager Bob Brenly bemoaned his team's tough luck against the
Cardinals.

"We've got to get some of those compasses they have on their
bats," Brenly said. "I never saw so many balls find gaps in my
life.

"It seemed like everything they hit in the first couple of
innings was either in a gap or down the line."

Diamondbacks starter Elmer Dessens (1-2) allowed five runs and
eight hits in five innings. He has won only once in his last 12
starts, going 0-5 during that stretch, although he beat the Brewers
on April 13.

"I was getting everything up," Dessens said. "That's not
good."

Eli Marrero and Mike Matheny hit consecutive RBI doubles and
Fernando Vina had a run-scoring single in the second.

Back-to-back doubles by Renteria and Martinez made it 4-0 in the
third, Jim Edmonds had an RBI double in the fourth and Renteria hit
his fourth homer in the seventh off Stephen Randolph.

Game notes
Jason Isringhausen met with team physician George A. Paletta Jr. Friday, and was advised to continue "minor" throwing drills. He is still experiencing discomfort in his right shoulder (still no structural damage), and is not expected to come off the DL before the end of the month. In the meantime, he will continue to throw cautiously on the side.
... Pujols walked as a pinch hitter in the eighth. ... Lyle
Overbay singled in the fifth to extend his hitting streak to 11
games, tied for the longest by a Diamondbacks rookie with Travis
Lee (1998). ... The Diamondbacks used their 16th starting lineup in
17 games. Dellucci, who has 24 home runs in five season, batted
cleanup for the second straight game. ... LHP Rick Ankiel won his
first game for Double-A Tennessee on Thursday night, allowing no
hits in 1 2-3 innings with one strikeout and one walk. ...
Cardinals pitchers are batting .343 (12-for-35) with three walks
and only six strikeouts, including a single by Williams in the
second.

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