Clark, acquired from Baltimore on Monday to play first base in Mark McGwire's absence, went 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
"There's a lot more atmosphere here, a lot more camaraderie pulling for each other on the bench, and stuff like that," Clark said. "You can definitely sense that sitting on the bench."
Clark, who doubled in his first Cardinals at-bat Tuesday night, hit his first NL home run in seven years leading off the second inning. He reached safely in each of his first five plate appearances for St. Louis before popping up in the ninth.
The NL Central-leading Cardinals are 9-14 since McGwire currently on the 15-day disabled list with right knee tendinitis has been out of the lineup.
St. Louis moved five games ahead of second-place Cincinnati, which lost 2-1 in New York.
"I went to the playoffs in '96 and '98, so I've been in a few races," Clark said. "It's fun to be back in one. We got a chance to pick up a game tonight, and we did."
Edmonds, who returned to the lineup after missing two games because of a sore right hip, matched his career high for RBIs in a game.
Edmonds hit a three-run homer in the third off Mike Johnson (5-6). He hit his 32nd homer a two-run shot in the fifth for his 11th career two-homer game, and third this season.
"This is a great game for us to win," Edmonds said. "And we've got to battle the next three games against Atlanta, and then we've got Florida. Even though you go into a place where they've got a losing record, it seems like they're always ready to play."
"I've been fortunate to play for some good clubs that have scored a lot of runs for me," Hentgen said. "They've done a nice job of that for me this year and the bullpen's done a good job, too. That's what it takes to win games as a starting pitcher. You've got to have full support from your club, and I've had that."
Hentgen allowed just one hit through the first four innings before the Expos, trailing 7-1, loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth. Jose Vidro followed with a drive that right fielder J.D. Drew ran down, making a diving catch to end the inning.
"That was probably the game-saver, right there," Clark said.
Drew drove in the Cardinals' 10th run with an RBI single in the eighth. Stevens hit his 20th homer in the bottom half.
"We managed to score seven, but that's not the essence of the game," Expos manager Felipe Alou said. "It could have been a wider score."
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