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Suppan wins second straight decision

4/25/2004

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Jeff Suppan gave the St. Louis Cardinals the
big outing they needed.

Suppan took a shutout into the eighth inning, and Albert Pujols
and Jim Edmonds hit consecutive home runs to help St. Louis avoid a
three-game sweep with a 5-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on
Sunday.

Suppan (2-2) allowed just three hits in 7 2-3 innings,
outpitching Ben Sheets to win his second start in a row.

"He gave us a clutch job," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa
said. "Down 0-2, to pitch like that against a guy as good as
Sheets, he was outstanding."

The right-hander gave up only a solo shot to pinch-hitter Keith
Ginter in the eighth.

Reggie Sanders added his seventh homer for St. Louis in the
ninth.

Sheets (3-1) also went 7 2-3 innings, striking out seven. He was
trying to become just the fourth Brewers pitcher to earn four wins
in April.

But after striking out the first two batters of the game, Sheets
gave up two straight homers on 2-2 pitches. Pujols' shot, his
seventh of the season, went to left. Edmonds' fourth of the year
went to right.

"You don't see Ben give up many hits, let alone homers,"
Edmonds said.

Sheets allowed only two homers in his previous 46 innings.

"I caught the middle of the plate, bottom line," Sheets said.
"The ball was up in the middle of the plate against two pretty
good hitters."

Pujols and Edmonds, a combined 3-for-20 in the previous three
games, hit the Cardinals' first home runs in four games. St. Louis
scored just four runs in its previous three contests.

St. Louis added a run in the eighth when Ray Lankford doubled in
Cody McKay. Sheets allowed three runs and seven hits in 7 2-3
innings.

"He pitched great," Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. "Two
home runs in the first inning and then he shut them down until the
eighth, throwing against real good hitters."

Edgar Renteria got his 500th RBI with a sacrifice fly in the
ninth, and Sanders hit a solo shot to make it 5-1.

Suppan did not allow a hit until a two-out double by Junior
Spivey in the fourth. In the fifth, the bases were loaded with one
out when Sheets grounded into a double play.

Suppan retired nine straight batters before Ginter connected
with two outs in the eighth. Mike Lincoln got the final out of the
inning.

"I was just working with what I had," Suppan said. "I wasn't
always locating, but it seems like when it was a big situation, I
was able to put the ball in a general area. I was just trying to
keep everything down."

Jason Isringhausen worked the ninth, allowing an RBI double to
Geoff Jenkins.

Game notes
Sheets has not walked a batter in 24 2-3 innings. His 7 2-3
innings Sunday was a season high for a Milwaukee pitcher. ... St.
Louis has hit back-to-back homers four times this season. ...
Suppan's seven career wins against Milwaukee are his most against
any NL opponent. ... Milwaukee purchased the contract of RHP Victor
Santos from Triple-A Indianapolis and optioned RHP Chris Saenz back
to Double-A Huntsville, one day after he beat St. Louis in his
major league debut. ... St. Louis ended its six-game NL Central
road trip 3-3 and will begin a seven-game homestand Tuesday.