Milwaukee, WI – Carlos Beltran's sacrifice fly in the 10th inning boosted St. Louis to a 7-6 win over Milwaukee, on a night the Cardinals increased their lead in the NL Central.
The Cardinals moved two games ahead of Cincinnati and Pittsburgh in the division. The Reds rallied for a 6-5 win in 10 innings over the Pirates Friday night. St. Louis' magic number to clinch a playoff spot is two.
John Axford (7-7), who was traded from Milwaukee last month, picked up the win despite giving up the tying RBI infield single to Aramis Ramirez. Axford escaped a big jam, though, when Carlos Gomez grounded into a 5-2-1 double play.
"There was excitement in the dugout right away, no matter what was happening down there. The game was tied in the ninth inning. Once I came in everybody was fired up, ready to go," Axford said.
Michael Blazek (0-1), who was sent to the Brewers in the Axford deal, walked pinch-hitter Kolten Wong to start the 10th. Matt Carpenter doubled to right and Beltran then lofted a fly to deep right.
Carlos Martinez retired the side in order to secure his first major league save.
Matt Adams belted a titanic 436-foot two-run homer to the second deck in right off Jim Henderson in the top of the ninth inning to give the Cardinals a 6-4 lead, but Edward Mujica couldn't hold the edge.
"I'm forced to put him in a position I usually don't do with him," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of Henderson.
Pinch-hitter Logan Schafer singled in Jeff Bianchi. After Jonathan Lucroy walked to load the bases, Axford came in to face Ramirez, who tapped a ball toward third. David Freese couldn't make a bare-handed pick-up and the game was tied.
Matt Holliday singled in a run in the first inning, but Ramirez clubbed a three-run homer off Shelby Miller in the bottom portion.
Holliday had an RBI single in the fifth, but Ramirez's sacrifice fly in the bottom half made it 4-2.
Beltran doubled in a run in the seventh and Adams singled him in later in the frame to forge a 4-4 tie.
Beltran threw Norichika Aoki, who went 4-for-4 with three runs scored, out at the plate to end the seventh.
Cardinals since Allen Craig went down with a foot injury earlier this month.
Carpenter's 53 doubles match Stan Musial's club single-season record for doubles by a left-handed batter. Joe Medwick (64 in 1936) owns the club overall single-season doubles record ... Miller gave up seven hits and four runs over six innings. He became the first Cardinals rookie since Rick Ankiel in 2000 to start 30 games ... Brewers starter Johnny Hellweg was charged with two runs on seven hits through five innings ... The Cardinals have won 13 of 17 versus the Brewers this season, going 7-1 at Miller Park.