Joe Montana passed for three touchdowns and Dwight Hicks and Tim Collier returned interceptions for scores today as the San Francisco 49ers defeated the winless St. Louis Cardinals, 42-27.

The victory was the 49ers' fifth in a row on the road over two seasons and improved their record to 2-1. San Francisco has lost only one road game in the last two years, winning 12 of 13. The Cardinals fell to 0-3.

Montana, who passed for 233 yards in the first half, continued to take advantage of the St. Louis defense in the second half of a game played in 90-degree heat.

Montana completed scoring passes to Freddie Solomon for 69 and 28 yards in the first half and threw an 11-yard scoring pass to Russ Francis in the third quarter. He finished the game with 20 completions in 32 attempts for 341 yards.

Hicks and Collier helped the 49ers frustrate St. Louis quarterback Neil Lomax, who had sat out last week's game against Dallas with a bruised right shoulder.

Hicks intercepted a pass midway through the second quarter and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown. Collier, who was released by the Cardinals last December, stepped in front of a pass intended for Roy Green and returned the the ball 32 yards for a score in the third quarter as the 49ers built a 42-20 lead.

"We were in a situation where we were fighting back all the time and that's tough," said St. Louis Coach Jim Hanifan.

"They got one cheap one on us early and then they take it in on the two interceptions. That's 21 points right there on three plays and it's kind of tough for any team to rally from that."