Ryan Braun belted a go-ahead home run in the 13th inning on Friday and the Milwaukee Brewers outlasted the St. Louis Cardinals, 5-4, in the opener of a three-game series.
The one-out blast to left field off Lance Lynn (13-7) was Braun's NL-leading 38th of the season and gave the reigning MVP his 100th RBI of the year.
Braun has now recorded at least 100 RBI in five straight seasons -- a franchise record.
Brandon Kintzler (1-0) tossed a scoreless 12th to secure the win and John Axford worked around a one-out walk in the ninth to close the game, which featured a 2-hour, 20-minute rain delay, and pick up his 26th save of the season.
"I think the guys hung in there enough," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "The relief pitching did a great job holding them down and then Brauny with the big one."
The Cardinals, who hold a 1 1/2-game lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers for the final NL Wild Card spot, left the bases loaded in the 11th when Kameron Loe grounded out Adron Chambers to end the inning.
The Brewers, who are six games off the pace for the last Wild Card spot, led 4-2 in the eighth before Matt Carpenter worked a leadoff walk and Yadier Molina belted a two-out homer off Jim Henderson.
Friday's tilt featured a matchup of 14-game winners in Yovani Gallardo and Kyle Lohse, although neither factored into the decision.
Gallardo gave up two runs on six hits over six innings. The righty did not issue a walk, struck out six, and left trailing 2-1.
Lohse, who hasn't lost since June 15, was charged with two runs over 6 1/3 frames and departed after walking Martin Maldonado and giving up a single to Jeff Bianchi. Pinch-hitter Travis Ishikawa then greeted Edward Mujica with a game-tying double.
In the eighth, Corey Hart singled, stole second with two down and crossed the plate when shortstop Daniel Descalso made an errant throw to first on Carlos Gomez's grounder.
Gomez then stole second and Maldonado followed with a base hit through the left side of the infield for a 4-2 Milwaukee advantage.
The Cardinals grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning courtesy of an RBI double byCarpenter and a sacrifice fly by Allen Craig.
In the fourth, Rickie Weeks and Braun led off with back-to-back singles before Taylor Green's run-scoring groundout made it 2-1.
Although he didn't factor into the decision, Gallardo is just 1-9 in 13 career starts against the Cardinals ... St. Louis leads the season-series, 8-5 ... Braun's 38 homers are a new career high.