Veteran Ramirez steers Brewers to big win

Brewers veteran Aramis Ramirez shook off a sore back to spur a key win in St. Louis.

The Milwaukee Brewers worked overtime to win in 13 innings Friday night.
Saturday, the team continued to make up for lost time -- and make up ground in the National League's wild-card standings. Aramis Ramirez's ninth-inning, solo home run ensured Milwaukee would wrap up Saturday's contest in St. Louis in regulation, helping propel his club to a 6-3 triumph.
Don't look now, but the Brewers have won an eye-opening 15 of their last 19 games, after Ramirez's 3-for-3 effort Saturday highlighted his team's 15-hit attack. As a result, Milwaukee has a playoff pulse, sitting five games behind St. Louis in the race for the National League's second wild-card spot.
"It's been fun," Ramirez said afterward. "You never know. ... Right now we're five or six games back in the wild card, so we'll come out (Sunday) and play another good game."
In a make-or-break series for the Brewers (69-70), the visitors bolted out to a prompt, 3-1 advantage.
Brewers starter Mike Fiers (9-7) worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the home half of the fifth, striking out Cardinals star Yadier Molina to end the inning.
The Cardinals (74-65) closed to within 4-3 in the eighth, off a Skip Schumaker sacrifice fly.
But Ramirez's blast provided the Brewers with a key boost in the top of the ninth, as he tattooed a changeup beyond the fence in left field,  handing the visitors a 5-3 lead.
"I just tried to put the ball in play," said Ramirez, "and got a changeup over the plate."
Ramirez had been saddled with a sore back in recent days, but he informed Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke -- in no uncertain terms -- that he wanted to play Saturday night.
"It's hard to keep him out of the lineup when he does the things he does," Roenicke said, smiling. "He came in today and pretty much told me he was playing. He said he’s fine."
And now the Brewers' overall vital signs look improved, too.
"It's September -- 140 games in the book already," Ramirez noted. "So nobody is going to feel 100 percent; and I'm not. But I'm good enough to play, and I'm gonna be out there."

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