ST. LOUIS (AP) – Mark Mulder threw a five-hitter for his second shutout of the season and John Mabry hit a two-run homer, helping the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-0 on Wednesday night.

The Cardinals are 76-44 and passed the White Sox (74-44) for the best record in the major leagues.

Mulder (14-6) has won seven of his last nine decisions, and rebounded from a four-inning stint in Chicago on Aug. 11 in which he surrendered seven runs. He struck out four, walked two and benefited from three double plays. He has shut out the Diamondbacks in both of his career starts, the other a one-hitter in 2001.

This was the 10th shutout of Mulder’s career, and his 24th complete game.

Mulder contributed two hits to an 11-hit attack, including a run-scoring single in the seventh for his second RBI of the year that made it 4-0. He is 76-10 in 97 career starts when his team scores four or more runs.

Mabry doubled and scored in the second and hit his seventh homer off Brandon Webb (10-9) into the visitor’s bullpen in the fourth to put the Cardinals ahead 3-0. He is 5-for-7 with four RBIs for his career against Webb.

Troy Glaus singled twice and walked for the Diamondbacks, who have lost four straight and are 2-6 with four games remaining on a 12-game trip. Arizona is 2-12 against the Cardinals the last three seasons, losing the first two games of a three-game series by a total of 13-2, and fell a season-worst nine games below .500.

Webb lasted 6 2-3 innings and gave up five runs and 11 hits. He is 0-3 against the Cardinals for his career with a 5.95 ERA.

He had been 2-0 in his three previous starts, allowing four earned runs in 22 innings.

Mabry doubled to start the second and scored on Mark Grudzielanek’s bunt single when first baseman Conor Jackson fielded the ball and threw wildly to first. Jim Edmonds doubled with one out in the fourth and Mabry followed with his seventh homer on a 1-0 pitch.

Mulder had an RBI single and Abraham Nunez drove home another run with a squeeze bunt in a two-run seventh.

Notes: The Cardinals are 19-12 against the NL West. … St. Louis starters lead the majors with 65 wins, 10 more than the second-place White Sox. … So Taguchi of the Cardinals had two hits and is 18-for-36 during a career-best 10-game hitting streak. … Glaus is 11-for-25 during a seven-game hitting streak. He is 10-for-16 against the Cardinals this year with a homer and three RBIs.

AP-ES-08-17-05 2223EDT

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