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NL: Penny keeps Marlins rolling

By Times Wires
Published August 6, 2003

ST. LOUIS - A fastball that reached nearly 100 mph was more than enough for Brad Penny against the Cardinals.

Penny complained about his changeup and curveball yet allowed four hits in seven sharp innings as the Florida Marlins beat Woody Williams and St. Louis 4-0 Tuesday night.

"My offspeed pitch wasn't too good and my breaking ball was up," Penny said. "I was locating my fastball, that's all, and I was throwing pretty hard."

Penny was going so well that he took an occasional peek at the radar gun reading in rightfield. One absurd reading measured a pitch at 111 mph.

"I saw that," he said with a chuckle.

Juan Encarnacion was 3-for-4 and Miguel Cabrera and Alex Gonzalez drove in runs for the Marlins, who have won eight of 10. Florida is 12-5 since the All-Star break to climb into the thick of the wild-card race.

"They don't think they can be beat," manager Jack McKeon said. "In the fourth or fifth inning, no runs, it's all right, we'll get them."

Albert Pujols extended his hitting streak to a career-best 19 games with a one-out double in the fourth for the Cardinals, their first hit. Edgar Renteria grounded into two double plays for St. Louis, which has been shut out in its past two home games.

Jim Edmonds returned to the Cardinals lineup after missing nine games with a strained right shoulder and was 0-for-3 with a fielding error in centerfield that allowed a run.

Penny tied his career high with his 10th win, striking out five and walking three. His biggest scare came in the fourth when Tino Martinez walked after Pujols' double and Scott Rolen flied out to the wall in left.

"I thought it was gone when he hit it," Penny said. "I really thought he got it."

Ugueth Urbina pitched two innings to finish the five-hitter, Florida's seventh shutout of the season, and extended the bullpen's scoreless streak to 191/3 innings. St. Louis has been shut out four times.

CUBS 3, PADRES 0: Mark Prior returned from the disabled list and won his first start in his hometown, combining with four relievers on a three-hitter for visiting Chicago.

The right-hander had been out since July 11 when he hurt his pitching shoulder in a collision with Atlanta second baseman Marcus Giles, who also is from San Diego County. Prior left that game complaining of stiffness in his pitching shoulder and was placed on the DL the next day.

Prior was forced to miss the All-Star Game after being selected for the first time.

Aramis Ramirez hit a two-run homer in the eighth off Jaret Wright. It was his 13th overall and his first since being traded to the Cubs with Kenny Lofton from Pittsburgh on July 22.

GIANTS 3, PIRATES 0: Jason Schmidt won his fourth straight start with seven innings of four-hit ball, and Jose Cruz had a two-run single for host San Francisco.

Schmidt made quick work of his former Pittsburgh teammates, retiring 16 of the first 18 while improving to 7-1 since June 19. He was removed for a pinch-hitter after finishing the seventh and threw 60 of his 80 pitches for strikes.

Schmidt has won three of his four starts against the Pirates since they traded him two years ago. He didn't walk a batter and struck out three.

BREWERS 4, BRAVES 3: Richie Sexson homered twice to lead host Milwaukee.

With the Brewers down 3-2 in the seventh and a runner on first, Sexson hit a 430-foot shot off Darren Holmes that hit the scoreboard in centerfield.

PHILLIES 7, ROCKIES 2: Bobby Abreu and Ricky Ledee homered and Brett Myers pitched into the eighth to lead visiting Philadelphia.

Myers allowed two runs and eight hits, striking out three and walking two for his first win in three starts.

D'BACKS 8, EXPOS 5: Shea Hillenbrand homered and drove in four as host Arizona snapped Montreal's four-game winning streak.

METS 10, ASTROS 1: Vance Wilson's three-run homer keyed a seven-run fifth and Al Leiter had another strong outing for visiting New York. Tony Clark hit his third home run in two games for the Mets.

DODGERS 5, REDS 2: Kevin Brown won for the first time in seven starts and Alex Cora homered for host Los Angeles. Brown had gone 0-4 since June 17, when he beat San Francisco for his 10th straight victory.

[Last modified August 6, 2003, 01:33:00]


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