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Cards squeeze out victory to give Morris milestone win

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- Matt Morris wasn't focused on a milestone. He just wanted to get back in the win column.

Morris earned his 100th victory and Jim Edmonds scored twice, leading the St. Louis Cardinals past the San Francisco Giants 4-2 on Saturday.

"I've never looked at any kind of number of wins in my career," Morris said. "I just try to take each start and build on it and get something rolling."

Mark Grudzielanek's single snapped a 2-all tie in the sixth inning, and the Cardinals added one more run with another successful suicide squeeze. Albert Pujols and John Mabry each had an RBI for St. Louis, which activated right fielder Larry Walker from the disabled list before the game.

Jason Isringhausen got four outs for his 32nd save in 35 opportunities. He retired pinch-hitter Moises Alou on a routine fly with the bases loaded to end it.

"Izzy gave me the ball," Morris said. "Usually, he steals them all. Today, he flipped it to me and I'll put it in my trunk."

Morris (13-5) pitched six innings, allowing five hits before a sellout crowd of 47,169. In his third attempt, he became the 39th active pitcher to win 100 games and the 12th Cardinals pitcher overall.

"I've been struggling the last couple of starts, stuck on 99," he said.

Morris (100-57) is the first Cardinals hurler to reach the 100-win mark since Bob Forsch in 1982. The right-hander is 7-2 in 12 starts at home this season and has won four of his last five at Busch Stadium.

"It has significant meaning to get 100 wins," said St. Louis manager Tony La Russa, who has been Morris' manager his entire career. "It moves you into a different category. We've all felt he's been an upper-echelon starter a bunch of times in his career."

San Francisco manager Felipe Alou is convinced Morris has improved since he had surgery on his shoulder in the offseason.

"You can't believe how much better he is," Alou said. "He had better arm speed and a cutter he didn't have before."

Kevin Correia (2-4) took the loss. He gave up four runs -- three earned -- and six hits in six innings.

"I'm still looking for that great outing," Correia said.

St. Louis scored twice to go ahead 4-2 in the sixth. Edmonds led off with a double and scored on Grudzielanek's single.

"I wanted to make sure there and get a good pitch and that ball ran in on me," Grudzielanek said. "I did fight it and I hit it hard up the middle. You get rewarded for doing a good thing."

A ground-rule double by Abraham Nunez advanced Grudzielanek to third.

With Grudzielanek breaking for the plate, Yadier Molina bunted the ball back to Correia, who flipped it home with his glove but not in time to get the sliding Grudzielanek.

"You know Tony, he's a smart manager," Molina said. "He gave me the sign, so I did it."

It was the 11th successful suicide squeeze in 13 attempts this season for St. Louis.

"I threw the (pitch) high, just not high enough," Correia said. "If I could have made a perfect flip, it would have saved us a run."

The Giants tied it at 2 in the sixth on a two-out, two-run double by Ray Durham. Walker tried to make a diving play, but the ball eluded him and rolled to the wall.

"That's the type of guys we have. He's, I don't know, 45 years old and he's diving for balls," Morris said, laughing. "He almost came up with it. It was a heck of an effort. He made the attempt to get it and I appreciate it."

The Cardinals took a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Edmonds led off with a walk and scored on a double by Mabry.

Morris led off the fifth and reached second base when his grounder was misplayed by third baseman Edgardo Alfonzo for an error. David Eckstein sacrificed Morris to third, and Pujols singled up the middle for his 96th RBI of the season.

Pujols was thrown out trying to steal second, the first time in 12 attempts he has been caught.

Walker, who missed 26 games with a herniated disc in his neck, went 0-for-3 in his first game since July 22. So Taguchi pinch-hit for him in the seventh.

Notes

  • San Francisco's Todd Linden struck out all four times up.
  • La Russa is two wins from matching Sparky Anderson (2,194) for third on the career list.
  • The Cardinals turned two double plays, giving them 12 on the homestand and 11 in their last four games. St. Louis is on pace to turn 204 double plays this season, which would shatter the club record.
  • Former St. Louis Cardinals quarterback Jim Hart tore down No. 17 as part of the Busch Stadium countdown. Hart wore No. 17 for the football Cardinals. There are 16 regular-season games left to be played at Busch. On Sunday, Ray Lankford will tear down No. 16, which he wore when he played the outfield for the Cardinals.
  • The sellout was the 34th of the season for the Cardinals. St. Louis has drawn more than 40,000 in each of its last 26 home games.
 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Matt Morris becomes the 39th active pitcher to win 100 games. (AP)
Matt Morris becomes the 39th active pitcher to win 100 games. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

J. Mabry
AB 4
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 1
St. Louis

M. Morris
IP 6.0
H 5
ER 2
BB 2
K 4
 

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San Francisco Giants
Randy Winn, CF4020000 .279
Omar Vizquel, SS2100203 .287
Lance Niekro, 1B4010011 .268
Pedro Feliz, LF4120002 .269
Ray Durham, 2B4022011 .300
Edgardo Alfonzo, 3B4000004 .287
Todd Linden, RF4000042 .247
Mike Matheny, C4020000 .253
    Deivi Cruz, PR0000000 .272
Kevin Correia, P2000000 .077
   a- Michael Tucker, PH1000010 .240
    Jeff Fassero, P0000000 .000
   b- Moises Alou, PH1000003 .326
Totals342922716 
a-struck out for Correia in the 7th
b-flied out for Fassero in the 9th
Batting
2B - Ray Durham (25, Morris), Mike Matheny (27, Morris)
RBI - Ray Durham 2 (45)
2-OUT RBI - Ray Durham 2 (18)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
E - Edgardo Alfonzo (8, Misplayed grounder)
San Francisco Giants
Kevin Correia (L,2-4) 6643330 4.86
Jeff Fassero 2000020 4.26
IBB - Molina by Kevin Correia
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Correia 102-62, Jeff Fassero 19-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Correia 10-6, Jeff Fassero 2-2
Batters Faced - Kevin Correia 28, Jeff Fassero 6
St. Louis Cardinals
David Eckstein, SS3000005 .271
Larry Walker, RF3000001 .267
   a- So Taguchi, PH-RF1000000 .305
Albert Pujols, 1B4011020 .335
Jim Edmonds, CF3210101 .272
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B4111000 .303
John Mabry, LF4011011 .263
Abraham Nunez, 3B4020011 .302
Yadier Molina, C1001101 .259
Matt Morris, P1100100 .091
   b- John Rodriguez, PH1000012 .289
    Al Reyes, P0000000 .000
    Randy Flores, P0000000 .000
    Jason Isringhausen, P0000000 .000
Totals294643512 
a-grounded out for Walker in the 7th
b-struck out for Morris in the 6th
Batting
2B - Jim Edmonds (30, Correia), John Mabry (14, Correia), Abraham Nunez (11, Correia)
SH - David Eckstein (7), Yadier Molina (7)
RBI - Albert Pujols (95), Mark Grudzielanek (48), John Mabry (30), Yadier Molina (34)
2-OUT RBI - Albert Pujols (29)
CS - Albert Pujols (1, 2nd base by Correia/Matheny)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Morris-Eckstein, Grudzielanek-Eckstein-Pujols
St. Louis Cardinals
Matt Morris (W,13-5) 6522240 3.80
Al Reyes (H,14) 1100020 2.40
Randy Flores (H,9) 0.2000000 3.71
Jason Isringhausen (S,32) 1.1300010 1.88
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Morris 79-54, Al Reyes 14-11, Randy Flores 5-4, Jason Isringhausen 28-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Morris 8-5, Randy Flores 1-0, Jason Isringhausen 1-2
Batters Faced - Matt Morris 24, Al Reyes 4, Randy Flores 1, Jason Isringhausen 7
Game Information
Attendance - 47169
Game Time - 2:38
Temperature - 84
Umpires - Home - Eric Cooper, First Base - Field Culbreth, Second Base - Marvin Hudson, Third Base - Larry Young