So far, Milwaukee not regretting Sexson trade

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- So far, the Richie Sexson trade isn't hurting the Milwaukee Brewers in the power department.

Craig Counsell, Lyle Overbay and Chad Moeller, three of the players acquired from Arizona in the deal for Sexson, all homered for Milwaukee on Tuesday night in a 7-5 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

"Not too often is that going to happen," Counsell said. "They've given us a great opportunity, and it's up to us to show that trading Richie Sexson was the right thing to do."

Winning pitcher Doug Davis worked into the seventh inning and the Brewers battered St. Louis pitching for the second straight day. Milwaukee moved to 2-0 for the first time since 1995, when it won its first three games.

The Brewers, who were 68-94 last year and 3-13 against the Cardinals, also got a franchise-record-tying two triples from Geoff Jenkins to move two games above .500 for the first time since June 26, 2001, when they were 38-36 after losing to the Pirates.

Last year, the Brewers lost their first six, including a season-opening three-game sweep in St. Louis during which they were outscored 24-13.

"It's a long way from 0-6," manager Ned Yost said. "We've got a different team. We've got a better team."

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa had anticipated a tough opening series.

"I said it when they brought the lineup over the first day," La Russa said. "I said, 'That's a nice professional team over there.' They were more productive than we were."

Dan Kolb worked the ninth for his second straight save, allowing an RBI infield single to pinch-hitter Marlon Anderson. But Kolb retired Edgar Renteria on a grounder with the bases loaded to end it.

Cardinals starter Jason Marquis, acquired in an offseason trade with the Braves, struggled just as Matt Morris did in an 8-6 loss in the opener on Monday. Marquis lasted 5 1/3 innings, giving up six runs and eight hits, including all three homers.

Marquis, who spent most of last season in the minors, was the Cardinals' most effective starter in spring training with a 2-0 record and 2.18 ERA. In 20 1/3 spring innings, he allowed only one home run.

"Before I hit my stride, the pitches were up, and any time you leave the ball up, the hitter has a chance to capitalize," Marquis said. "I was a little jumpy, and I wasn't getting on top of the ball.

"I have to bear down and realize less is more."

Mike Matheny hit a two-run homer and a sacrifice fly for the Cardinals, giving him four RBI in two games. Renteria had two hits and his first homer.

Counsell connected in the first, and Overbay hit a two-run shot in the sixth after Jenkins got his second triple when left fielder Roger Cedeno missed on an attempted diving catch.

Moeller greeted Jason Simontacchi with a two-run drive later in the sixth to make it 7-3, giving the Brewers five homers in the first two games. Yost believes the Brewers minus Sexson, who hit 45 homers last year and made the All-Star team, will get more extra-base hits.

"We were second in the league in home runs last year, and where did it get us?" Yost said. "That's overrated. We've got the ability to manufacture runs better, I think, this year."

Junior Spivey, also acquired in the Sexson trade, had a run-scoring single and scored on Jenkins' first triple, to right field, in a two-run third. Jenkins is the second Brewer to hit two triples in a game since the team moved to the NL in 1998. Jose Valentin was the other, on Sept. 29, 1999, against Pittsburgh.

Davis, a left-hander who played for three teams last year and was 3-2 for the Brewers, allowed four runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out four and walked one.

Game notes
A cautionary note about Milwaukee's 2-0 start: The Brewers finished 65-79 in 1995 after a 7-21 record in the final month. ... Cardinals OF Jim Edmonds was hitless in his first seven at-bats before getting hits in his last two. In the opener, he stranded six runners, five in scoring position. ... Brewers RHP Jeff Bennett made his major league debut, following Davis, and allowed two hits in 1 1/3 innings.