ST. LOUIS (Ticker) --
administered some damage of his own.
Vina had three hits and knocked in three runs and
pitched eight effective innings as the St. Louis Cardinals posted a 7-4 victory over the
It did not look like Vina would get a chance to have a big night after he was hit with a pitch in the right ankle to start the bottom of the first inning. But after being treated by the trainer, the feisty second baseman stayed in the game.
"I think that he (Cubs starter
) has so much movement and the way his arm angle whips, he had great stuff tonight," Vina said. "The way his ball moves with that sinker and slider. That curveball he throws is nasty. He's got great stuff."
The Cardinals had to be glad Vina hung around as he stroked an RBI single in the second and a two-run base hit in the sixth, giving the Cardinals a 7-4 lead. He finished 3-for-3 and also scored twice.
Williams (5-0) settled down after a shaky start and surrendered four runs and nine hits. The righthander walked three and struck out six in improving to 12-2 lifetime at Busch Stadium.
retired the side in order in the ninth for his second save.
J.D. Drew added a 514-foot, two-run homer for the Cardinals, who improved to 21-3 against the Cubs at Busch Stadium dating to the 2000 season.
Clement (2-5) endured his fourth straight loss after getting roughed up for seven runs and eight hits in six innings. He struck out six, walked one and hit three batters.
"I just didn't pitch good tonight," Clement said. "I'm very disappointed, I let the team down. I didn't go out and do the job I needed to go out and do. It's one of those tough stretches I guess you go through. I'm going to go out there and do a better job."
had two hits and scored twice for the Cubs, who had a five-game winning streak stopped.
Williams struggled in the first, hitting leadoff batter
with a pitch. After Grudzielanek was caught stealing, Gonzalez walked and Troy O'Leary singled to put runners on the corners.
delivered a run-scoring single to plate Gonzalez before Williams got the final two outs of the inning.
Clement returned the favor in the bottom half, plunking Vina with a pitch. Drew followed with a single and
ripped a double down the left field line to tie it.
struck out, but
lofted a sacrifice fly to give the Cardinals a 2-1 lead before a groundout by Grudzielanek in the second tied it.
Rolen doubled in the fifth inning, extending his hitting streak to 10 games. He is batting .424 (14-for-33) during the streak.
The Cubs squandered a chance for a bigger inning in the second after Williams walked the first two batters. But he found his groove following the walks by retiring the next 11 hitters.
"Early on, I didn't even know where it (ball) was going," Williams said. "That was a problem early, the control. When I did throw strikes, it was in the meat of the plate. To be successful, you have to work both sides and when you pitch in the middle, it's not a good thing."
"That was a gutty performance," Cardinals manager
Tony La Russa
said. "You could tell the first couple of innings he didn't have his normal sharpness, but he had his typical eight inning competitive streak in him. He was going to compete no matter what."
In the bottom of the second, Vina gave the Cardinals the lead with his two-out, run-scoring single into center field.
Gonzalez broke Williams' string of retired batters with a two-out single in the fifth. He came around to score the tying run on a double by Troy O'Leary, who was thrown out at third trying to stretch his hit into a triple.
Vina started the bottom of the inning with a double and Drew, who sat out the previous two games with a sore back, followed by hitting Clement's next pitch off the scoreboard in right field for his third homer of the season.
"With Vina on, I was just trying to get a good pitch to get him over," Drew said. "I got a first pitch fastball up and hit it pretty well. It feels good to hit them like that. You never know where they're going to end up and it doesn't really matter once they go over, but it makes it interesting for everyone else, I guess."
Drew's homer was the fourth-longest in Busch Stadium history since the team began estimating distances in 1988. The longest homer there was a 545-foot shot by
A single by
in the sixth pulled the Cubs within 5-4. But with runners on first and third and two outs, Cubs manager
elected to let Clement hit.
Clement struck out, and the Cardinals added to the lead in the bottom of the inning on Vina's two-run single.
Baker may have let Clement hit due to the extensive use of the Cubs' bullpen in Thursday's 17-inning win at Milwaukee.