Cards beat Reds to end skid

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 6, 2003

ST. LOUIS -- The longest losing streak of Woody Williams' career is over. The St. Louis Cardinals hope their slide is over, too.

Williams won for the first time since July 26 despite giving up six runs in six innings as the Cardinals overcame an early deficit and beat the Cincinnati Reds 13-6 Saturday.

''It's hard to see from the linescore,'' Williams said. ''It's been a hard second half, but I still have four more starts, so we'll wait and see what happens.''

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Eli Marrero had a two-run triple and drove in three runs in his first start since tearing ankle ligaments on May 11, Bo Hart had four hits and three RBIs, and Albert Pujols homered for the second straight game.

''We came in the dugout after the first inning and said 'Hey, let's get three,' and we got three,'' Hart said. ''It's nice to kind of relax a little bit and get your hits.''

St. Louis won for only the second time in seven games. The Cardinals entered third in the NL Central, two games behind division-leading Houston, and managed only four hits in the last 11 innings of a 4-2, 12-inning loss to the Reds on Friday night.

''You've got to separate them,'' manager Tony La Russa said. ''It was really tough last night, and everybody was very disappointed. The worst thing you can do is carry it over.''

Cincinnati made a season-worst five errors, matching the major league high for the season, and lost for the 10th time in 13 games.

''We had been playing pretty good defense since I got here, but not today,'' manager Dave Miley said. ''A couple more of their hits should have been caught and we just piled more mistakes on after that.''

Williams (15-8) had been 0-5 with a 4.74 ERA since beating Pittsburgh on July 26, the longest losing streak of his career. He struck out seven in six innings, allowing six runs and nine hits.

Williams also had his third two-hit game of the year, and scored twice.

Cincinnati had a pair of three-run innings, the first and fifth. Sean Casey had a two-run double in the first and D'Angelo Jimenez hit a three-run homer in the fifth.

St. Louis was 11-for-17 against Dan Serafini (0-3) after he retired the first two batters in the first. Pujols hit his 39th homer and Marrero added his two-run triple in a three-run first. Hart had a run-scoring triple in a two-run second, and St. Louis scored five in the third to go ahead 10-3.

Jimenez's fielding error at second and Casey's throwing error at first led to all five runs being unearned in the third. Hart's two-run double was the big hit in the inning.

Serafini, signed as a minor league free agent on Aug. 25, gave up 10 runs -- five earned -- and 11 hits in 2 2-3 innings. He faced the Cardinals for the second straight start after allowing two runs on four hits in six innings in a 5-0 loss on Sunday in Cincinnati.

''They're a good team, but not that good to give up a 10-spot,'' Serafini said. ''It's unfortunate.''

Notes: Pujols has an NL-leading 56 multihit games. … Reds C Jason La Rue left with a bruised left heel in the top of the fifth when Dane Sardinha hit for him, but said he'd be available to play on Sunday in the series finale. … Williams, who averages an NL-leading 111 pitches per start, threw 117 pitches on Saturday. He has allowed five or more runs in nine of his last 17 starts. … The Reds are 9-6 against the Cardinals this season. … There have been four five-error games in the major leagues this year, including two by the Mets and one by the Athletics.