ST. LOUIS (AP) — David Freese had an RBI in a four-run fourth inning to go with big plays at third base, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat former teammate Kyle Lohse for the third time this season with a 4-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.
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John Gast (2-0) won his second straight start in place of the injured Jake Westbrook and fellow rookie Seth Maness escaped a bases-loaded, none-out jam in the seventh to help the Cardinals win for the 14th time in 17 games. They took two of three from Milwaukee and lead the season series 8-2.
Edward Mujica earned his 13th save in 13 chances after a third rookie, Trevor Rosenthal, gave up a hit in the eighth.
Lohse (1-5) has lost all three of his starts against St. Louis after going 16-3 for the Cardinals last season and then leaving in free agency when they opted to go with younger players. He gave up four runs in six innings, and is 0-4 overall in his last five starts.
Yuniesky Betancourt and Jeff Bianchi each drove in a run and Norichika Aoki had three hits and a walk for the Brewers, who have lost 14 of 17.
After getting one hit the first time through the order, the Cardinals jumped on Lohse for six hits in the first seven at-bats in the fourth. Yadier Molina singled for the lead and Jon Jay followed with an RBI double, both coming on first pitches.
Freese’s opposite-field single through a drawn-in infield was his fifth RBI of the series after totaling four prior to the weekend, and Pete Kozma capped the rally with a perfectly-placed squeeze bunt that Lohse couldn’t touch with a diving barehanded attempt.
Gast has opened with five scoreless innings in each of his first two career starts, and has allowed a total of six runs in the sixth. Fellow rookie Seth Maness took over with one out and runners at the corners, and the Brewers got two-out RBIs from Betancourt and Bianchi to cut the deficit to 4-2.
Maness finished with a unique pitching line, allowing no runs on five hits in 1 2-3 innings.
The Brewers opened the seventh with three straight hits and had two of their best hitters due up. Jean Segura, who entered with an NL-leading .361 average, popped up to first and Ryan Braun grounded into a double play started by Freese.
Aoki was barely run down at the plate by Freese to foil a double-steal attempt and end the first. The Brewers attempted to manufacture a run with Betancourt down 1-2 in the count while mired in a 3 for 40 slump and Freese faked a few tosses to the plate before flicking his glove to catch Aoki beginning his dive.
NOTES: The Cardinals are 14-7 on the road heading into an eight game trip. Rookie Shelby Miller (5-2, 1.40) and is tied for the major league lead in ERA heading into Monday’s start against Jason Marquis (5-2, 3.49) at San Diego. … The Brewers begin an eight-game home stand Monday with Yovani Gallardo (3-3, 4.50) facing the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw (4-2, 1.40). … Professional wrestler Chris Jericho, in town for an “extreme rules” event Sunday night, threw the ceremonial first pitch. … Rickie Weeks struck out twice for a four-game total of eight.