EditorsNote: Corrects a stat, fixes a few style errors
Brent Suter allowed three runs over five innings and helped himself with a two-run double as the Milwaukee Brewers broke open a close game late and rolled to an 8-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday afternoon at Miller Park in Milwaukee in the first of a three-game series.
The Brewers, who hold a 4 1/2-game lead in the division over Chicago, won for the fourth straight game while St. Louis fell to five games off Milwaukee’s pace and had a two-game win streak snapped.
Jonathan Villar ripped a three-run, two-out home run in the seventh to help secure the win for Suter (5-3), who surrendered five hits (two of them home runs) and no walks while striking out six.
Taylor Williams and Matt Albers backed up Suter with a combined three hitless innings before Jacob Barnes pitched the ninth.
Luke Weaver (3-5) gave up four runs on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts over four innings of work to absorb the loss. He left the game down 4-3 but the St. Louis relief corps surrendered four runs as well.
Manny Pina’s single in the bottom of the second drove home Ryan Braun and handed the Brewers a 1-0 lead. Christian Yelich’s solo home run, his sixth, over the center field fence in the third expanded Milwaukee’s advantage to 2-0.
Suter’s double of off the glove of St. Louis first baseman Jose Martinez in the fourth plated Braun and Villar and staked the Brewers to a 4-0 lead.
The Cardinals responded in the fifth as Yairo Munoz’s two-run home run, the rookie’s first career homer, allowed Harrison Bader to score in front of him and cut Milwaukee’s lead to 4-2. Two outs later, Matt Carpenter ripped a solo round-tripper, his sixth, over the right field fence that brought St. Louis back to within one run.
Braun singled home Yelich in the bottom of the frame off reliever Mike Mayers. Then the Brewers put away the game in the seventh with Villar’s home run over the center field fence off the Cardinals’ Brett Cecil, driving in Yelich and Braun in the process to push Milwaukee’s lead to 8-3.
Tuesday’s game will be a matchup of right-hander Michael Wacha (5-1, 2.88 ERA) for the Cardinals versus right-hander Zach Davies (2-4, 4.74) for Milwaukee.
—Field Level Media