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  Monday, May 29 4:05pm ET
Stephenson gets first career shutout

PHOENIX (AP) -- Garrett Stephenson is quickly becoming the St. Louis Cardinals' ace.

Coming off his first complete game in two years, Stephenson pitched his first career shutout, a six-hitter Monday that led the Cardinals over the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-0.

Garrett Stephenson
Garrett Stephenson joins Bob Gibson as the only Cardinals starters to begin the regular season with eight straight wins.

"If you throw a shutout, it's got to be a pretty good game, but I don't know what my best game is," Stephenson said. "Early in the season, it was just one or two pitches that were making me give up a couple runs, and right now those couple of pitches are staying in the park and being caught."

Stephenson, who struck out eight and walked none, joined Bob Gibson as the only Cardinals starting pitchers to begin the regular season with eight straight wins.

Gibson was 8-0 in 1965, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Only two Cardinals pitchers have opened the season with more consecutive wins: reliever Frank DiPino went 9-0 in 1989 and Howie Krist, who started and relieved, finished 10-0 in 1941.

"It's classic pitching," manager Tony La Russa said. "You move the fastball around, throw the breaking ball and add a changeup -- three pitches."

St. Louis stopped a three-game losing streak, which matched its longest of the season. Arizona lost its second straight home game after 11 straight wins at Bank One Ballpark, a franchise record.

Todd Stottlemyre (8-3), who left because of discomfort in his right elbow, allowed one run and two hits in 5 1/3 innings, struck out four and walked three. Stottlemyre bypassed surgery after tearing his right rotator cuff in May 1999.

Team physician Dr. David Zeman said Stottlemyre would be evaluated after an MRI on Tuesday.

"This is something I've been fighting pretty much the whole year," said Stottlemyre, who argued with manager Buck Showalter to stay in. "Today, it was a little more irritating, a little more discomfort. My velocity was good, my stuff was as good today as it's probably been all year."

Fernando Vina and Edgar Renteria, the top of the order, provided the runs Stephenson needed. Renteria had an RBI single in the third inning, and Vina hit a two-run single in the seventh after Russ Springer loaded the bases by walking Ray Lankford, J.D. Drew and Stephenson.

"I felt good at the time," Vina said. "I mean, we're up 1-0, and that's the time for us to get a few more runs. When you're playing the Diamondbacks, they're such a good team, you can't be happy with just one run."

Stephenson, who lowered his ERA to 3.82 with the fourth complete game of his career, did allow a double and two singles to Tony Womack, who extended his hitting streak to 24 games, the longest in the majors this season. Luis Gonzalez also had two hits.

"He had some pitches up for me, which was a rare thing," Womack said. "He kept his pitches down for the most part."

Mark McGwire was 1-for-3 and has not homered in 22 plate appearances.

Game notes
Stephenson beat Florida 5-1 with a five-hitter on May 24, his first complete game since Sept. 24, 1997, against Atlanta. ... Gonzalez robbed Lankford of a homer in the eighth inning with McGwire on first. Gonzalez jumped to the left-field fence, and hung on the wall with his right arm to make the catch. ... Lankford walked twice, moving ahead of Rogers Hornsby for sixth on St. Louis' career list with 661. ... Stottlemyre was with St. Louis from 1996-98 and was the last Cardinal to throw back-to-back complete games -- on May 16 and 21, 1998. His first start against the Cardinals gave him one against every major league club, including the Diamondbacks. ... St. Louis LHP Jesse Orosco, coming off an injured left elbow, will jojn Peoria of the Class-A Midwest League on Tuesday for a rehabilitation assignment.


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St. Louis Clubhouse

Arizona Clubhouse

Anaheim 3
Cleveland 2

NY Yankees 4
Oakland 1

Baltimore 5
Tampa Bay 1

Texas 3
Detroit 2

Seattle 5
Chi. White Sox 4

St. Louis 3
Arizona 0

Atlanta 1
Chicago Cubs 0

Colorado 8
Houston 7

San Francisco 7
Philadelphia 2

Los Angeles 4
NY Mets 1

Pittsburgh 10
Florida 4

Milwaukee 8
San Diego 3

 Garrett Stephenson shares the credit with his Cardinal teammates.
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