Cards take two of three from Yankees

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Four years ago, Scott Seabol popped out in his
only major league at-bat with the New York Yankees. On Sunday, he
beat the team that picked him in the 88th round of the 1996 draft
with his first career home run.

Seabol's two-run, pinch-hit shot in the seventh inning provided
the go-ahead run in the St. Louis Cardinals' 5-3 victory over the
sputtering Yankees.

"I'm just looking for a pitch I can take a good swing at and
hit it hard," Seabol said. "Fortunately, I kind of did both. I
couldn't be happier."

Seabol, 30, had a little extra adrenaline for the Yankees,
saying "I'd be lying if I said I didn't."

Yankees manager Joe Torre vaguely recalled Seabol.

"We had him for a handful of days," Torre said. "We knew he
was strong, we knew he could do what we saw him do today. We just
made a bad pitch."

The Cardinals concluded a high profile week by taking two of
three from the Yankees, New York's fifth straight series loss,
after taking two of three from the Red Sox in a World Series

"I don't think that anybody that watched us play the two series
had any problem with how we went about it," manager Tony La Russa
said. "We just played as hard as we could and the coaches and I,
we have no complaints."

Randy Johnson's strong outing helped the Yankees win the middle
game on Saturday, but the Cardinals haven't lost two straight games
since May 6-7.

Eighth-place hitter Yadier Molina had three hits and scored
twice, and singled ahead of Seabol's homer on the first pitch he
saw from Tanyon Sturtze (1-1) with one out in the seventh. Seabol
hit his first homer in 37 career at-bats for a 3-2 lead.

Jim Edmonds added a two-run double to help the Cardinals win for
the 18th time in 21 interleague games dating to 2003. Ray King
(1-1) gave up the go-ahead run on Hideki Matsui's single in the
seventh but retired Bernie Williams for the final out of the

The Yankees wasted a strong outing by Carl Pavano and wrapped up
a dismal 3-9 trip that dropped them two games below .500. Jorge
Posada homered, and Alex Rodriguez and Matsui each drove in a run
for the Yankees, who have lost 11 of 14 overall despite a payroll
of more than $200 million.

Torre summed up the trip as: "Terrible, I guess."

"We won three games and tried to build on it but we really
couldn't put anything together," he said. "And if we're expecting
to get back into the middle of it and get our confidence back, we
need to start stacking some wins."

New York also lost outfielder Matsui with a right ankle injury
in the seventh. Matsui slipped and fell while chasing Edmonds'
double and had to be assisted from the field by Torre and a team
trainer, although he walked without a limp.

"I should be OK," Matsui said through an interpreter. "They
took X-rays and everything was negative so everything should be

Matsui has played in 387 consecutive games since joining the
Yankees and has a streak of 1,637 games counting his time with the
Yomiuri Giants in Japan.

Pavano, who had lost his previous three starts, worked six
innings and gave up one run on six hits with two strikeouts and one
walk. Cardinals starter Matt Morris had a similar line, also giving
up a run on six hits in six innings with five strikeouts and three

Both teams had failed rallies in the sixth. The Yankees had
runners on second and third before Albert Pujols made a diving stop
to his left on a smash by Pavano and then beat him to the bag for
the third out. The Cardinals loaded the bases in the bottom half
before Reggie Sanders grounded into a double play.

Molina doubled and scored on David Eckstein's RBI single through
a drawn-in infield in the third to put the Cardinals ahead. The
Yankees tied it on consecutive two-out hits in the fifth, a single
by Tony Womack and Rodriguez's double.

Posada hit his eighth homer, and first since May 24, off Julian
Tavarez in the eighth to cut the gap to 5-3.

Jason Isringhausen worked the ninth for his 18th save in 19

Game notes
Womack received his NL championship ring from the Cardinals
in a brief pregame ceremony, getting hugs from several
ex-teammates. ... A crowd of 50,372 was the ninth straight sellout
for the Cardinals and the three-game total from the Yankees series
was 150,799 -- the largest at Busch Stadium since a manually
operated scoreboard was installed in center field in 1997 and
several thousand seats were removed. ... Home plate umpire Derryl
Cousins left the game after 4½ innings and was hospitalized due to
an undisclosed illness. The game was delayed for several minutes
before resuming with a three-man crew.