|St. Louis (72-63) «||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||6||0||8||7||0|
MILWAUKEE -- Yadier Molina simply wanted a sacrifice fly.
The Cardinals had taken a 4-2 lead in the eighth, and Molina came up with the bases loaded and one out.
"All the way through that at-bat I was thinking flyball," he said. "You never want to hit a ground ball there, never. I was just trying to hit a flyball to get that man in."
Molina sent a 1-2 pitch from Todd Coffey into the left-field stands for his sixth homer of the year to give the Cardinals an 8-2 lead.
St. Louis needed that big inning as Milwaukee scored four times in the final two innings, and had Prince Fielder at the plate as the tying run with two outs in the ninth. Ryan Franklin got him to ground out to end the game.
"We got touched up a little bit at the end, but we got the outs -- everybody got the outs -- when we needed it," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said.
The Cardinals won for the third time in four games. They began the day trailing NL Central leader Cincinnati by seven games.
"From now on, we have to win, that's a rule," Molina said. "We can't go back. We've got to do it. We've got to win some games."
Mitchell Boggs (2-2) pitched 1 1/3 innings for the win.
Milwaukee starter Yovani Gallardo bounced back from three consecutive poor starts to pitch seven solid innings, but St. Louis erupted against three relievers.
With one out in the eighth, John Jay was hit by a pitch from Zach Braddock (1-2).
Jeremy Jeffress, one of the top prospects in the Brewers' system, was then summoned to make his Miller Park debut. The right-hander got Albert Pujols to hit what could've been an inning-ending double play, but it bounced off third baseman Casey McGehee's glove for an error.
"It was another winnable game but no execution when things are on the line," Milwaukee manager Ken Macha said.
Pedro Feliz hit the first pitch from Coffey for a single, making it 4-2. Molina's slam then gave the Cardinals what they thought was a comfortable lead.
"I didn't get the job done," Coffey said. "I get the job done out there, we win the game. I come in with the bases loaded I've got to get it done."
The Brewers pulled within 8-4 in the bottom half on an RBI single by McGehee and an RBI double by Alcides Escobar.
Hart hit his 26th and 27th home runs. Rickie Weeks hit his 26th for Milwaukee.
Hart's second homer brought the Brewers within 8-6 with two outs in the ninth off Franklin.
St. Louis starter Jake Westbrook pitched six innings, giving up two runs on five hits.
Gallardo had allowed 20 runs in 14 2/3 innings over his past three starts. The right-hander pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on four hits.
|Yadier Molina helps the Cards stay alive in the NL Central after smacking a slam to cap a six-run eighth against the Brewers. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Skip Schumaker, 2B||3||1||1||0||0||0||0||.270|
|a- Felipe Lopez, PH-2B||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||.236|
|Jon Jay, RF||3||1||0||0||0||0||1||.323|
|Albert Pujols, 1B||3||2||1||1||1||1||0||.309|
|Matt Holliday, LF||4||1||1||1||0||1||3||.303|
|Colby Rasmus, CF||2||1||0||0||2||1||0||.266|
|Pedro Feliz, 3B||4||1||1||1||0||0||1||.225|
|Yadier Molina, C||4||1||2||4||0||0||0||.256|
|Brendan Ryan, SS||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.217|
|Jake Westbrook, P||2||0||1||0||0||1||0||.133|
|b- Randy Winn, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.250|
|Mitchell Boggs, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Trever Miller, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Kyle McClellan, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.500|
|Ryan Franklin, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-grounded out for Schumaker in the 8th|
|b-struck out for Westbrook in the 7th|
|2B - Skip Schumaker (16, Gallardo), Albert Pujols (32, Gallardo)|
|HR - Yadier Molina (6, Coffey)|
|SF - Albert Pujols (6)|
|SH - Jon Jay (6)|
|RBI - Albert Pujols (97), Matt Holliday (88), Pedro Feliz (36), Yadier Molina 4 (52)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|Outfield Assists - Matt Holliday 1|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Mitchell Boggs (W,2-2)||1.1||1||1||1||0||2||0||3.66|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jake Westbrook 98-57, Mitchell Boggs 22-15, Trever Miller 6-3, Kyle McClellan 7-6, Ryan Franklin 30-17|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jake Westbrook 11-5, Mitchell Boggs 1-1, Ryan Franklin 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Jake Westbrook 25, Mitchell Boggs 5, Trever Miller 1, Kyle McClellan 3, Ryan Franklin 6|
|Rickie Weeks, 2B||5||1||1||1||0||0||1||.270|
|Corey Hart, RF||4||3||3||3||1||0||0||.283|
|Ryan Braun, LF||4||0||2||0||1||1||1||.303|
|Prince Fielder, 1B||4||1||2||0||1||0||2||.274|
|Casey McGehee, 3B||4||0||1||1||0||0||3||.282|
|Lorenzo Cain, CF||4||0||0||0||0||1||3||.259|
|Alcides Escobar, SS||4||0||1||1||0||2||1||.249|
|Jonathan Lucroy, C||4||1||1||0||0||1||0||.263|
|Yovani Gallardo, P||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.259|
|a- Joe Inglett, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.262|
|Zach Braddock, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jeremy Jeffress, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Todd Coffey, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Michael McClendon, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Mat Gamel, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.000|
|a-grounded out for Gallardo in the 7th|
|b-struck out for McClendon in the 9th|
|2B - Corey Hart (29, Boggs), Alcides Escobar (14, McClellan), Jonathan Lucroy (8, Franklin)|
|HR - Rickie Weeks (26, Westbrook), Corey Hart 2 (27, Westbrook, Franklin)|
|RBI - Rickie Weeks (77), Corey Hart 3 (88), Casey McGehee (87), Alcides Escobar (40)|
|2-OUT RBI - Rickie Weeks (34), Corey Hart 3 (36), Alcides Escobar (18)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|E - Casey McGehee (16, Misplayed grounder)|
|Zach Braddock (L,1-2)||0.1||0||1||1||0||0||0||2.90|
|IBB - Rasmus by Jeremy Jeffress|
|HBP - Jay (by Zach Braddock)|
|WP - Yovani Gallardo (6)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Yovani Gallardo 97-57, Zach Braddock 8-5, Jeremy Jeffress 14-5, Todd Coffey 9-8, Michael McClendon 15-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Yovani Gallardo 11-6, Zach Braddock 1-0, Jeremy Jeffress 1-0, Todd Coffey 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Yovani Gallardo 27, Zach Braddock 2, Jeremy Jeffress 3, Todd Coffey 4, Michael McClendon 3|
|Attendance - 35190|
|Game Time - 3:01|
|Temperature - 72|
|Umpires - Home - Tim Tschida, First Base - Bob Davidson, Second Base - Scott Barry, Third Base - Tim Timmons|