Cardinals acquire Axford for stretch drive

The St. Louis Cardinals have acquired reliever John Axford from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for a player to be named later.

The 30-year-old former closer compiled a 6-7 record with a 4.45 earned run average in 62 appearances for the Brewers this season.

Two years ago, Axford led the National League with 46 saves and helped the Brewers capture the NL Central title. He posted 35 saves last year, but blew nine and his ERA spiked from 1.95 in 2011 to 4.67.

"John is a reliever that offers experience as both a set-up man and closer," Cardinals senior vice president/general manager John Mozeliak said in a statement Friday. "He's also a pitcher who brings familiarity with the NL Central, pennant race baseball and the postseason."

Axford is 21-19 with 106 saves and a 3.35 ERA in 268 career games, all with Milwaukee.