Allen Craig's go-ahead RBI single in the top of the ninth inning capped a three-run frame as the St. Louis Cardinals rallied past the Milwaukee Brewers, 3-2, in the opener of a three- game set.
Matt Carpenter walked to lead off the ninth inning against John Axford (2-6). After pinch-hitter Lance Berkman and Carlos Beltran flied out, Rafael Furcal reached on an infield single. Following Skip Schumaker's walk, Matt Holliday snuck a seeing-eye single through the hole on the right side, plating Carpenter and Furcal to tie the score.
Craig then blooped a single into left to bring home Schumaker.
"A lot of smiles in the clubhouse right there, I love how they fight," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "They're not going to be able to keep this offense down. It was one we certainly needed, we had a lot of great at- bats in the ninth. It was just a great all-around team effort."
Jason Motte (4-3) registered the final two outs of the eighth and worked a 1-2-3 ninth for St. Louis, which snapped a three-game skid.
Holliday tallied two hits, extending his hitting streak to 15 games.
Axford blew his sixth save of the year for the Brewers, who had won four of their past six contests coming in.
"I just let it go," Axford said. "I couldn't find anything, fastball, breaking ball...today I just felt awful."
Prior to the ninth-inning rally, St. Louis' Lance Lynn and Milwaukee's Michael Fiers engaged in a classic pitching duel. Making his eighth career start, Fiers tossed seven shutout innings, scattering four hits and walking four, while Lynn fanned 10 and surrendered a run on six hits over seven strong innings.
The Brewers finally got to Lynn in the seventh as Corey Hart belted a homer to center, while Ryan Braun's RBI double in the eighth off Barret Browning gave the home team a 2-0 advantage.
The Cardinals were 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base, while the Brewers finished 0-for-5 and stranded five...Axford's ERA rose to 5.35 on the year...The Brewers announced Zack Greinke wouldn't make his regularly-scheduled start Wednesday against the Cardinals. Instead, the team will go with rookie Tyler Thornburg. Greinke will return to the rotation July 24 in Philadelphia.