ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- When
takes the mound, the St. Louis Cardinals just expect to win.
Williams and four relievers combined on a five-hitter and
matched his career high with three hits and added two RBI as the Cardinals posted a 7-0 victory over the
The righthander did not allow a hit until
tripled with two outs in the sixth. Williams (1-0) gave up just one more hit, while striking out five and walking one.
"I really didn't think about it (the potential no-hitter) to tell you the truth," Williams said. "I was just trying to get outs and, with my (past injury) situation, I knew I wasn't going to pitch the whole game."
Williams improved to 17-5 with the Cardinals and St. Louis is 21-8 when he starts. But the veteran starters endured two stints on the disabled list in 2002 with a strained left oblique muscle.
"He was outstanding, he made so many good pitches," Cardinals manager
Tony La Russa
said. "As soon as he looked like he was getting a little tired, we were going to go get him. He was just so sharp that it wasn't until the seventh inning."
Williams won his fourth straight decision, dating to last season, and his third consecutive start against the Brewers.
"You know that you're going to get something good from him," said St. Louis catcher Matheny. "(In spring training) he got to the point where he realized he was healthy and he realized that his injury was not going to keep bothering him forever, and he could go ahead and let it go. Once he got to that point, his stuff got right and I think he peaked at the right time."
Matheny registered three hits in a game for the 12th time in his career. He last accomplished the feat on August 13, 2002 at Pittsburgh.
Young went 2-for-4 for the Brewers, who have lost four straight against the Cardinals.
"Woody threw the ball well," said Brewers left fielder
John Vander Wal
, who was Williams' teammate in 1999 with the
San Diego Padres
. "I had some good rips at his fastball. He looked like he was mixing it up with his curveball and his changeup, and we just didn't hit it."
(0-1) was ineffective, giving up seven runs and 11 hits in five innings. The lefthander struck out six and walked one.
"I felt pretty good out there," Rusch said. "They really just scraped, put together a lot of good at-bats and swung the bats well. The way Woody threw the ball, it was going to be a tough night."
In just his second game in charge, Brewers manager
was not alarmed by Rusch's outing.
"I want to give Glendon every opportunity to pitch through a little adversity for a chance to get a win later," Yost said. "I'm not going to panic if they get in trouble in the fourth or fifth inning and give up three or four runs.
"That last inning (the fifth), they hit the ball in between the outfielders and the infielders. It wasn't like they were rocking him."
The Cardinals were ahead, 1-0, with one out in the fourth when
doubled home two runs and then Matheny's bloop single to left plated Perez and made it 4-0.
"We've got some guys who have been executing and who have been taking advantage of the opportunities when we have guys in scoring position," Matheny said. "(We've been) really putting up some good tough at-bats and that's what's going to give us some runs."
Matheny also capped a three-run rally in the fifth.