John Tudor pitched his league-leading seventh shutout and Willie McGee had three hits, including a homer, yesterday in St. Louis to lead the Cardinals to a 5-0 victory over the Houston Astros.

The Cardinals had lost three straight and the Astros had won four in a row. St. Louis remained two games ahead of second-place New York in the National League East.

Tudor (16-8) lowered his ERA to 2.03, second-best in the league behind Dwight Gooden of the Mets. The victory broke a string of three no-decision starts for the left-hander, whose last victory was on Aug. 12. He gave up seven hits, did not walk a batter and struck out five in his 10th complete game.

"I've never been in a streak like this before," said Tudor, who is 15-1 since May 29. "It's all new to me. Winning 15 of my last 16 decisions, that's ridiculous."

McGee, who increased his league-leading average to .368, hit a 2-1 pitch off loser Joe Niekro (9-11) in the fifth inning to give St. Louis a 3-0 lead. It was his seventh homer of the year, a career high.