Milwaukee, WI – After blowing his sixth save of the season Monday, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke pulled the plug on John Axford as closer and gave the ball to Francisco Rodriguez in the ninth inning Tuesday.
Rodriguez didn't make things easy for himself, but notched his second save of the year, helping Milwaukee take a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in the middle installment of a three-game set.
David Freese led off with a double and the Cards had runners on the corners with none out after Yadier Molina singled to center in the ninth.
But Rodriguez worked out of the jam. He induced Matt Carpenter into a groudout to shortstop, struck out Skip Schumaker and got Daniel Descalso to pop up to shortstop to tally the 293rd save of his career.
"That's not usually how Rodriguez starts, but I've seen Frankie get out of stuff like that over the years," Roenicke said.
Rickie Weeks smacked a long solo homer, while Randy Wolf (3-6) fanned six and allowed two runs on eight hits and one walk in 6 2/3 innings.
Ryan Braun exited the contest in the seventh inning with a right adductor strain.
Joe Kelly (1-2) surrendered three runs -- two earned -- on six hits and a walk for the Cardinals, who have dropped four of their last five games.
Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday left the game after being hit by a Wolf fastball above his left knee in the first inning. His 15-game hitting streak will stay intact because his only plate appearance was not an official at-bat.
"It got him around the knees, he just couldn't run," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Holliday's injury.
The Brewers struck first in the opening frame on Corey Hart's RBI single to left, but the Cardinals went in front with a pair of runs in the third.
Rafael Furcal worked a one-out walk, Allen Craig singled and Furcal came home on Jon Jay's double to left. Carlos Beltran's sacrifice fly plated Craig to give the Cards a 2-1 edge.
But Milwaukee retaliated with a run in the third on Aramis Ramirez's RBI single and Weeks banged one off the facade in left-center for a solo blast in the fourth to make it 3-2 in favor of the home team.
"I threw it right down the middle and I thought I would've hit it out myself," Kelly said of the homer.
The Cards threatened in the seventh with men on second and third with one away, but Lance Berkman struck out and Furcal popped out to end the frame.
Lance Berkman was ejected in the top of the seventh inning for arguing balls and strikes...It was Rodriguez's first save since April 10 against the Chicago Cubs...St. Louis was 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position while Milwaukee finished 2-for-7.