PHILADELPHIA -- Jerome Williams needed more than just a change of scenery. He needed a new league altogether.
After spending the last five seasons in the American League, where he struggled to keep his ERA under 4.50, he got a chance to start anew in the National League with the Philadelphia Phillies, who picked him up off waivers back on Aug. 11.
Williams continued his strong stretch since arriving in Philadelphia, picking up his second win in three starts, as the Phillies beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-1 Sunday afternoon.
After pitching to a 2-4 record with a 5.53 ERA through the first four months of the season with Houston and Texas, Williams is now 2-0 with a 1.77 ERA in his first 20 1/3 innings in Philadelphia.
"I'd been in the American League for a long time, and coming over to the National League I think I can contribute in different ways," he said. "I'm just happy that I'm actually doing the job that I've been doing."
A day after using all seven relievers in a 12-inning loss to the Cardinals, Williams gave his bullpen a much-needed day of rest, going eight innings while giving up just the one run, allowing five hits while striking out five and walking three.
The Phillies built up a 5-0 lead over the first three innings, with production coming throughout the lineup. All five runs were scored by different players, with four different batters picking up RBIs while one came in to score on a wild pitch by St. Louis starter Justin Masterson.
Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins added a two-run home run, his 16th of the season, against reliever Nick Greenwood in the eighth inning to cap off the scoring.
"Good fundamental offense," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "Doing some little things. Getting guys on base, moving them over. A little safety squeeze. Two-out RBIs. Some good stuff fundamentally."
Masterson was all over the place in his three innings, giving up five runs on six hits with two wild pitches, striking out three while walking two. That continues a rocky stretch for him since being acquired from Cleveland a day before the trade deadline. In five starts with the Cardinals, he is now 2-2 with a 7.43 ERA.
"He's a worker, he's not happy with what he's seeing here, he came into a good situation wanting to help us be better," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "Just continuing to work, that's it. There's not another option, we're not going to sit around and wait for it to fix itself."
St. Louis looked like they might finally break through against Williams in the sixth inning, when a walk to first baseman Matt Adams and a single by shortstop Jhonny Peralta put runners on first and second with nobody out. But Williams got Cardinals center fielder Jon Jay to fly to left before right fielder Oscar Taveras lined into a double play to end the inning.
The Cardinals are now 1 1/2 games back of Milwaukee for the National League Central lead.
"I think we're starting to sense that we're starting to get close to September," Matheny said. "Guys came in here, had a lot of life on the bench today, I didn't feel like we were dragging. But we are at the end of August and this is a push time."
Justin De Fratus came in and pitched a scoreless ninth inning to finish things off for the Phillies.
NOTES: The teams split the first two meetings of the series, with the Cardinals taking Saturday's matchup 6-5 in 12 innings of play. The Phillies used all seven of their relievers in that game. ... Including Saturday's win, the Cardinals have had five wins this month with the go-ahead run coming on their last at-bat of the game -- the most they have had in one month since September 2011 (eight). ... Phillies OF Grady Sizemore was given the start in right field, his first start since Aug. 17. Coming into the game, he was batting .301/.339/.427 in 34 games since joining the team in mid-July, and went 1-for-4 with a double on Sunday ... Cardinals OF John Jay has hit .404 in August, the best such mark in the National League. After batting eighth the night before, he was put back in the sixth spot on Sunday, and went 1-for-3. He has hit safely in 14 of the last 15 games.