ST. LOUIS (AP) — After failing to hold three-run leads in two straight games, Allen Craig and the St. Louis Cardinals put their series final against Milwaukee out of reach.
Craig homered on a four-hit day that included three RBIs, and Matt Adams hit a three-run homer as the Cardinals beat the Brewers 9-3 Wednesday.
"It's nice to see some big production that we know is going to come from certain guys" said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, who slept on his office couch after an 11-inning loss Tuesday night.
Jon Jay had three hits and a walk his first four trips to the plate. The Cardinals avoided a three-game sweep against the team with the best record in the major leagues.
"I've been feeling pretty good at the plate for a little while now, hitting some balls hard," Craig said. "Frustration's part of it. Things are going to turn around."
Shelby Miller (3-2) worked around homers to Mark Reynolds and Carlos Gomez, allowing three runs and six hits in six-plus innings.
"Kind of little rough early on," Miller said. "It's always nice to have a lot of runs scored for you, but at the same time, you've got to act like it's a close game no matter what."
Milwaukee is 20-8, a franchise record for wins through the season's first full first month.
Matt Garza (1-3) joined the lengthy list of injured Brewers when he was removed in the fourth inning because of a bruised right thumb from getting jammed on an at-bat to end the third. He said there was no doubt he'd be ready for his next start.
"I'm going to make sure I'm OK by then," Garza said. "I'm not here to skip a start, I'm prepared to pitch. I want to get right back out there.'"
Ryan Braun (oblique) and Jean Segura (cut on head) didn't start during the series, and Aramis Ramirez (elbow) was out the last two games for Milwaukee, which batted light-swinging Scooter Gennett third. Segura and Ramirez are expected to return Thursday for the start of a four-game series at Cincinnati, though Braun remains day to day.