Lackey, Carpenter spark St. Louis' 4-0 win over Milwaukee
ST. LOUIS (AP) St. Louis starter John Lackey had little trouble with the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday.
He threw seven scoreless innings and benefited from two Matt Carpenter doubles in helping the Cardinals to a 4-0 victory over the Brewers.
Lackey (1-0) gave up five hits, struck out eight and walked one. He has a 12 2-3 inning scoreless streak at Busch Stadium.
''I think I've just gotten better at locating stuff,'' Lackey said. ''I definitely moved the ball a little bit better than I did earlier on when I was younger. I trust myself throwing strikes and being able to throw strikes with multiple pitches.''
Lackey, who allowed a pair of two-run homers in six innings in his most recent start, faced the Brewers for just the fourth time in his career and shut down their lineup.
''His stuff just keeps getting better to me,'' St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. ''So far, this season I really like the way he's throwing the ball.''
So does catcher Yadier Molina.
''He's a pitcher; he's not a thrower,'' Molina said. ''When you've got a guy like that, it's fun.''
Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke was impressed with Lackey.
''Lackey, when he's on, he's good,'' Roenicke said. ''His slider was outstanding. We chased it a lot today.''
St. Louis took a 2-0 lead on two doubles and two singles in the sixth inning.
Carpenter, who has four consecutive games with multiple hits, doubled to right to begin the sixth inning off Brewers starter Mike Fiers. With one out, Matt Holliday hit a 3-2 pitch up the middle for a run-scoring single.
''I hate when he comes up,'' Roenicke said about Holiday. ''He's gotten a lot of big hits off us over the years. Behind him, (Jhonny) Peralta is swinging a great bat. There's several guys who are swinging real well over there.''
Holiday stole second and went to third on Peralta's single. Mark Reynolds hit an RBI double to center, but Peralta was thrown out trying to score.
It was Reynolds' first RBI as a Cardinal and his first multi-hit game in St. Louis.
''I just try to put good at-bats together,'' said Reynolds, who signed as free agent in the offseason.
Neal Cotts relieved and retired pinch-hitter Randal Grichuk.
Fiers (0-2) allowed seven hits in 5 2-3 innings.
St. Louis added a run in the seventh with two outs. Carpenter doubled home Kolten Wong, who had doubled with one out.
The Cardinals made it 4-0 in the eighth when Molina hit an RBI single to score Grichuk, who doubled with two outs. Molina has five hits in his past two games with two RBIs. He is hitting .421 in his past five games.
''When you play every day, you're going to get that timing back,'' said Molina, who raised his average to .278. ''Right now, I'm in that process.''
ON A ROLL
Cardinals: Peralta has hit safely in all eight games this season and 11 straight dating back to 2014. ... Holiday extended his hitting streak to eight games. ... Carpenter has reached base by a hit or walk in all eight games.
Brewers: Second baseman Scooter Gennett has hit safely in all 13 of his games he has started at Busch Stadium.
Brewers: Centerfielder Carlos Gomez was not in the starting lineup. Gomez strained his hamstring while beating out a play at first base in the ninth inning Wednesday. Gomez was 0 for 5 in the loss but was hitting .320 with a home run and six RBIs before that.
Cardinals: LHP Jaime Garcia (shoulder) is expected to throw batting practice to hitters Friday in extended spring training in Jupiter, Florida.
Cardinals: Second baseman Wong committed his third error of the series when he bobbled a routine grounder in the second by Adam Lind. Wong made two errors in the first game of the series Monday.
Cardinals: RHP Michael Wacha (1-0, 1.42) will make his second start of the season and again it will be against Cincinnati. He earned the decision in a 4-1 win in his first start opposing Johnny Cueto, whom he will be facing again.
Brewers: RHP Jimmy Nelson (1-0, 0.00) will make his second start of the season. In his first start, Nelson had a career-high nine strikeouts in seven scoreless innings against Pittsburgh.