ST. LOUIS (AP) — Milwaukee Brewers rookie Tyler Thornburg found himself in the middle of a pennant race Thursday night, even though it was only in a spoiler role.
"You always want to try and make it as tough for those teams who have something to play for," he said.
Thornburg did just that, tossing six solid innings to lead the Brewers over St. Louis 5-3. Sean Halton homered for Milwaukee, which snapped the Cardinals' five-game winning streak.
St. Louis fell into a tie with Pittsburgh for the top spot in the NL Central. Both teams are 85-61 with 16 games remaining. The idle Cincinnati Reds are 2½ back.
Milwaukee broke a three-game losing streak against St. Louis and beat the Cardinals for only the fourth time in 16 meetings this season.
"It's important to beat these guys. They've been taking it to us pretty good," manager Ron Roenicke said. "We played a good game today. There were a lot of good things that happened."
The Cardinals are 5-1 on their nine-game homestand.
Thornburg (2-1), making his eighth career start, gave up two runs and three hits. He spent most of the season with Triple-A Nashville, going 0-9 with a 5.79 ERA in 15 starts.
Thornburg struck out six and walked two. He has allowed two runs or fewer and gone six innings in all five major league starts this season.
Jim Henderson earned his 25th save in 29 opportunities.
"I thought I threw the ball pretty well," Thornburg said. "I was locating my fastball pretty well. Everything felt good."
St. Louis outfielder Carlos Beltran was impressed with the right-hander.
"The first couple of at-bats you're kind of like wondering, watching what he's trying to do," he said. "We just couldn't do anything against him."
Halton, who had three RBIs, hit a two-run homer off Joe Kelly (8-4) in the fourth to put the Brewers up 4-0. Halton also had a run-scoring single in the second.
The round-tripper was the biggest hit of the season for Halton, a rookie starting his 15th game.
"This is as good as it gets for a guy like me," he said. "Getting called up in September, that's all you can ask for is to be a factor."
Like Thornburg, Halton loves the spoiler role.
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