MILWAUKE (TSN-WSAU) Yadier Molina's second career grand slam capped a six-run eighth inning to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to an 8-6 win over the Milwaukee Brewers in the opener of a three-game set.
Albert Pujols drove in a run and scored twice while Matt Holliday and Pedro Feliz each had an RBI and a run scored for the Cardinals, who have won three of their last four.
Jake Westbrook went six innings in the start and was charged with two runs on five hits with a pair of walks and strikeouts. Mitchell Boggs (2-2) got the win for tossing 1 1/3 innings while giving up a run.
"It was a great win," said St. Louis manager Tony La Russa. "They are a tough club to play here because of all that power. We got touched up at the end, but everybody got the outs that they needed."
Corey Hart hit a two-run homer and a solo shot while Rickie Weeks added a solo home run for the Brewers, who have lost six of their last seven. Yovani Gallardo threw seven innings and was charged with two runs on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Zach Braddock (1-2) was tagged with the loss.
"Gallardo threw the ball very well and gave us the innings that we needed," said Milwaukee manager Ken Macha. "It was a big night for Corey with the two home runs. We just didn't get the bullpen help we needed."
With the score tied in the eighth, the Cardinals surged ahead with a six-run frame.
Braddock started the frame on the mound and got the first out, but then hit Jon Jay with a pitch. Jeremy Jeffress then took over on the hill and Pujols reached base on a Casey McGehee error. Holliday then put his team on top with a single that scored Jay.
After Colby Rasmus was issued an intentional walk to load the bases, Todd Coffey took the mound and promptly gave up an RBI single to Feliz. Molina followed with a blast over the left field wall for an 8-2 lead.
The Brewers cut into the deficit in the eighth. With men on first and third and one out, McGehee singled up the middle to score Hart. After Lorenzo Cain struck out, Alcides Escobar doubled to left to score Prince Fielder and make it an 8-4 game. On the play, Holliday gunned the ball to Brendan Ryan, who took the relay and threw home to nail McGehee for the final out of the inning.
Ryan Franklin gave up a leadoff double to Jonathan Lucroy in the ninth, but then retired the next two batters. Hart, though, cut the deficit in half when he crushed a pitch well over the center-field wall. Ryan Braun then worked a walk to bring the tying run to the plate in the form of Fielder. Franklin, though, got Fielder to groundout to first base to end the game.
The Cardinals posted a 1-0 lead in the first inning as Skip Schumaker led off with a double, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from Jay and crossed the plate on a sac fly by Pujols.
The Brewers tied the game in the third on Weeks' solo shot over the right- field wall.
The Brewers and Cardinals play again Tuesday night in Milwaukee at 6:35pm.