Joaquin Andujar became a 20-game winner for the second straight year and became the first pitcher in the major leagues to reach the mark in 1985 tonight as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Atlanta Braves, 6-2.
"Last year it took me to the last game to win 20," Andujar said. "It took me five times to win No. 20 last year. This year we still have 40 or 41 games to go and I got 20, thanks to God."
The right-hander said he didn't have a victory goal for the remainder of the season. "I don't have any numbers," said Andujar, 32. "I just want to go to the World Series."
Andujar (20-7) gave up 10 hits, walked four and fanned three in 7 1/3 innings, before Jeff Lahti finished the game for his 15th save.
Andujar said he wasn't disappointed that he was unable to pitch his 10th complete game of the year. "We have 25 players -- you can't do it all yourself," he said. "Everybody does a little bit."
"He gave up a lot of hits, but he battled the heck out of 'em," Manager Whitey Herzog said.
Andujar, 20-14 in 1984, became the first NL pitcher to record consecutive 20-victory seasons since Houston's Joe Niekro in 1979 and 1980. Andujar is the first St. Louis pitcher to win 20 games in two straight seasons since Bob Gibson did it in 1969 and 1970.
The Cardinals, who moved back into first place in the NL East by a game over New York with their third victory in a row, scored four runs in the third, featuring Andy Van Slyke's two-run homer.
Vince Coleman started the rally with a single to left and then stole his 84th base despite an Atlanta pitchout. Willie McGee tripled and he scored on Tom Herr's grounder. Mike Jorgensen singled to right and Van Slyke hit a 3-0 pitch from Craig McMurtry (0-3) over the right field fence for his 10th homer of the year.
St. Louis added another run in the seventh on McGee's single to center and Herr's double into the right field corner. Van Slyke singled home Herr, who had singled and stolen second, in the ninth.
The stolen bases brought the Cardinals' season total to 221, a club record.
It was the fourth straight loss and the 10th in 11 games for the Braves.