Cardinals 8, Brewers 6

Jake Westbrook didn’t last long enough to earn the victory on

Wednesday, but the light-hitting St. Louis pitcher used his bat to

spark a six-run, second-inning outburst that led to a Cardinals win

over the Milwaukee win.

The Cardinals jumped out to a seven-run lead and then held on

for an 8-6 victory.

Westbrook, who entered the game hitting only .167 with two RBIs

this season, smacked a bases-loaded double into the left-center

field gap that scored two runs, starting an onslaught that

propelled the Cardinals a 7-0 lead.

”I’m happy to be able to contribute in that sense, especially

with the bases loaded and nobody out and to put a good swing on the

ball,” Westbrook said.

Westbrook didn’t fare as well on the mound, however. He fell one

out short of earning this eighth win of the year, giving up four

earned runs and nine hits in 4 2-3 innings. He walked one and

struck out one during a 75-pitch outing.

In his previous start on Aug. 16, when he threw a career-high

124 pitches, Westbrook gave up six earned runs in 6 2-3

innings.

”I still felt like I pitched a lot better than I have been in

terms of throwing strikes and getting ahead of guys,” Westbrook

said. ”I actually made some good pitches that they put some good

swings on. Getting two quick outs in the fifth and not being able

to finish it off is pretty frustrating for me.

”The bullpen came in and picked me up and finished it off, and

the offense was great.”

Carlos Beltran and Allen Craig hit towering home runs in the

game-changing second inning. Matt Holliday also homered later in

the game and Shane Robinson had three hits for the Cardinals, who

remain close behind the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL Central

race.

”It was a big win,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.

”Those are the ones you’ve got to find a way to win, when you put

that kind of offensive production up early.”

After taking a one-run lead in the first inning on a double by

Craig, the Cardinals torched Brewers starter Tom Gorzelanny (3-5)

in the second.

”You make mistakes and you pay for them, especially against

good-hitting teams,” Gorzelanny said. ”I left balls over the

middle, (and made) bad pitch selection.”

Following Matt Carpenter’s sacrifice fly, Beltran launched a

two-run shot that caromed off the center-field scoreboard. With two

out, Craig hit a solo homer to right-center.

”We are happy that we were able to win the series,” Beltran

said. ”That is basically what is important for us right now.”

The Brewers cut into the lead in the third on a three-run homer

by Aramis Ramirez, and then added two runs in the fifth.

Juan Francisco broke out of an 0-for-15 slump, during which he

struck out 10 times, with a run-scoring single. Sean Halton drove

in another run with a hit, cutting the deficit to 7-5 and chasing

Westbrook.

”(Westbrook) started out pretty good, but for whatever reason

they were finding the good part of the bat and finding holes,”

Matheny said.

Kevin Siegrist struck out pinch-hitter Jeff Bianchi with the

bases loaded to end the fifth inning. Siegrist (2-1) recorded two

outs to notch the victory. Four Cardinals relievers held the

Brewers to one run over the final 5 1-3 innings to preserve the

win.

Holliday’s solo home run in the ninth extended the lead to

8-5.

Edward Mujica earned his 33rd save in 35 attempts despite giving

up a long solo home run to Logan Schafer with one out in the

ninth.

Gorzelanny surrendered seven runs and 10 hits in 3 2-3 innings.

He walked one and struck out five.

”He didn’t command the ball that well early and then they also

hit some pretty good pitches. We know they are a good hitting club,

and when you don’t hit your spots, they are going to put a good

swing on it,” Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said.

Khris Davis had a career-best three hits for Milwaukee.

”He keeps showing he can hang in there. He works the count

well, which I really like,” Roenicke said. ”He’s an aggressive

swinger, but he’s not a hacker. He doesn’t just go up there and

swing at everything. He swings at the pitch he wants to swing

at.”

NOTES: Milwaukee reliever Rob Wooten was placed on the paternity

list. Wooten didn’t make it back to North Carolina in time for the

birth of his daughter. ”He walked into the room and (his wife) was

holding the baby,” Roenicke said. ”But everyone is fine.” …

Pitcher Donovan Hand was recalled from Triple-A Nashville to

replace Wooten. Hand was optioned back to Nashville immediately

after the game, as was INF/OF Sean Halton. Corresponding moves will

be forthcoming, according to a team spokesman. … OF Norichika

Aoki was held out of the lineup due to right knee soreness. ”It

has been bugging him for a while. We aren’t worried too much,”

Roenicke said. … The Cardinals concluded a 12-game stretch

against NL Central clubs. … St. Louis returns home to face the

Atlanta Braves on Thursday. Milwaukee returns to action Friday at

Cincinnati.