ST. LOUIS (AP) -- A day after the St. Louis Cardinals ended their
second eight-game losing streak this season, Jeff Suppan kept them
from starting a new one.
Suppan allowed four hits in 7 1/3 innings and Juan Encarnacion
hit a three-run homer, helping the Cardinals beat the Milwaukee
Brewers 7-1 Sunday."Everybody should be feeling more comfortable at this point,"
Encarnacion said. "There's no better feeling than when you win."Scott Rolen added a two-run homer for the Cardinals, who took
two of three from the Brewers and are 17-8 against them the last
two seasons. St. Louis leads the NL Central by 3½ games entering a
four-game series at second-place Cincinnati."If you look at our season, we've done more good things than
bad," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "I think we're coping
with it really well. But believe me, you don't have those two
losing streaks and guys are whistling 'What's the big deal?"Suppan (9-6) matched his season high with seven strikeouts and
walked one, allowing only three singles before Mike Rivera homered
leading off the eighth. He is 12-2 with a 3.53 ERA against the
Brewers, including 5-0 since the start of 2005, but noted he
allowed five runs in four innings against them on June 11."I know I've had some good games against them," Suppan said.
"But my last outing they really took a different approach and got
quite a few runs off me."It was a frustrating day for Brewers manager Ned Yost. Suppan
retired 18 of the first 21 batters."He handcuffed us," Yost said. "We got him the last time a
little bit."Jorge Sosa, acquired from Atlanta on July 31, got five outs for
his first save with the Cardinals and his fourth in seven chances
this season.Chris Capuano (10-8) gave up four runs and seven hits in six
innings, and is 0-4 in five starts since beating the Chicago Cubs
on July 6. Capuano fell to 4-2 against the Cardinals overall and
3-1 in St. Louis."I was just trying to hold them as long as I could and give our
team a chance to score some runs," Capuano said. "After the
second inning, I really only made two bad pitches. It's definitely
frustrating from that standpoint."Ronnie Belliard singled with one out and scored on So Taguchi's
double in the second to give the Cardinals the lead. Taguchi
entered 3-for-18 against Capuano.Encarnacion hit his 16th homer off a 1-0 changeup with one out
in the sixth for a 4-0 lead, his first homer since July 27."I didn't hit it that well," Encarnacion said. "But well
enough to get a homer."Rolen hit a two-run homer, his first in 77 at-bats since July 9,
in the eighth against Derrick Turnbow. Suppan doubled in the
seventh and has a hit in his last three starts.
The Cardinals are 23-25 against the NL Central. The last
time they had a losing record in the division was 1999. ... The
Brewers are 31-26 from Monday through Thursday and 21-33 the rest
of the week after wrapping up a 2-4 trip. ... Albert Pujols was
2-for-3 against Capuano and singled ahead of Encarnacion's homer.
He's 8-for-15 against Capuano.