Cruz Jr.'s two-run homer highlights five-run first

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Jim Brower pitched so well that he could stick
in the San Francisco Giants' rotation.

The spot starter allowed one run in six innings and Jose Cruz
Jr. homered in a five-run first in San Francisco's 5-1 victory over
the St. Louis Cardinals Tuesday night.

Cruz and Ray Durham had two hits and scored a run as the NL West
leaders controlled the league's best hitting team for the second
straight game.

"This is more than I was expecting to do," Brower said. "This
club is on fire. I had to put up some zeros."

The Giants, who beat St. Louis in the NL championship series
last season, won the series opener, also by a 5-1 score. San
Francisco has won seven of 10 overall.

Tino Martinez had three hits and an RBI for the Cardinals, who
entered the series batting .292 by have just 13 hits in the two
games. Albert Pujols is hitless in eight at-bats the first two
games, dropping his major league-leading average 10 points to .381.

Pujols has gone two games without a hit only one other time this
season, on April 9-10 at Colorado.

Brower (4-1) replaced struggling Damian Moss and won in his
first start since Sept. 20, 2001, when he was with the Reds. He was
pitching so well against the Cardinals that manager Felipe Alou
allowed him to work an extra inning after he had reached a pregame
stated limit of 65 pitches.

"He was going easy," Alou said. "His stuff really got better
with more pitches. That was a very impressive outing."

Alou said Moss is still scheduled to start Sunday against the
Padres, but it appeared less definite.

"That was a plan that was worked out by many of us," Alou
said. "As of now, I'm not changing it. Me, I'm not changing it.
You know what I'm saying?"

Cardinals starter Woody Williams (10-3) was victimized in the
five-run first by four hits just inside the line, including Cruz's
homer just inside the foul pole in right. He retired 17 of the next
18 after that.

"He pitched good that inning," manager Tony La Russa said.
"But they all count. I would have liked a couple of bloops."

Williams gave up only one hit the final six innings, and allowed
six hits overall with two strikeouts and two walks. In his last
five games he's given up 23 earned runs in 33 innings.

"I like to take blame and responsibility for what I do on the
field," Williams said. "I haven't been as good as I want to be
and I've gotten beat.

"Anytime you give a team five runs in the first it's a hard and
long road back."

Durham started the game with an opposite-field double down the
left-field line, and Neifi Perez reached when his bunt sailed over
the head of third baseman Scott Rolen, also down the line. Marquis
Grissom hit a sacrifice fly, then Barry Bonds and Benito Santiago
hit consecutive doubles for two more runs.

With two outs, Cruz hit a 3-2 pitch for his 13th homer for a 5-0

"I definitely hit it hard enough but I wasn't sure because I've
had a couple of close ones this year," Cruz said. "But it stayed
true and it didn't really veer too much. I'm happy for that."

The Cardinals scored in the second when Scott Rolen singled with
one out, stole second on strike three to Edgar Renteria, and scored
on a single by Martinez.

Game notes
Perez' bunt single was the 1,000th hit of his career. ...
The homer by Cruz was only the eighth allowed by Williams in his
last 22 regular-season starts. ... Cardinals 2B Bo Hart got a
standing ovation after his running, leaping catch of a looping
liner by Perez to end the second. But Hart, who has seven multihit
games in the first 12 games of his career, is 0-for-8 thus far in
the series to drop an average once well above .500 to .397. ...
Cardinals RF J.D. Drew left after four innings with a sore right
knee, an aftereffect of a collision Sunday in Kansas City. ...
Williams fell to 16-4 at Busch Stadium for his career with a 2.50
ERA. ... Giants SS Rich Aurilia grounded as a pinch hitter in the
ninth, his first appearance after missing four games with an
abdominal strain in his left side.