MILWAUKEE (AP) — 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.
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