ST. LOUIS -- Jhonny Peralta and Stephen Piscotty hit back-to-back homers and combined for seven RBIs to power the St. Louis Cardinals to a 7-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday night.
St. Louis has won five straight and holds a four-game lead over Pittsburgh for the NL Central lead.
The Cardinals trailed 3-0 in the fourth when Peralta hit a three-run homer into the center field bleachers, and Piscotty followed two pitches later with a blast into the left-center seats. The homer by Peralta, St. Louis' cleanup hitter, was his first since Aug. 1.
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Piscotty added a two-run, two-out single off Taylor Jungmann (9-7) in the fifth and a run-scoring single in the seventh.
St. Louis, a major league-best 97-56, went 41 games over .500 for the first time.
Michael Wacha (17-6) worked five innings and allowed three runs, all in a 28-pitch first inning when he gave up three hits and walked two. Rookie Jason Rogers singled in Milwaukee's first run, and Hernan Perez drove in two with an opposite-field double grounded just fair down the right field line.
Five Cardinals relievers limited the Brewers to three singles over the final four innings.
In his first career start, Brewers SS Yadiel Rivera grounded a single to left on the 11th pitch he saw in the first inning for his first career hit.
Brewers: C Jonathan Lucroy (concussion), out of the lineup since Sept. 8, singled in an eighth-inning pinch-hit appearance and stayed in to play first base. Lucroy is not expected to catch again this year, manager Craig Counsell said.
Cardinals: LF Matt Holliday (quad) is being eased into his return from an eight-week stint on the disabled list. After going 1 for 3 Wednesday in his first start since July 29, Holliday was not in the lineup.
Brewers: Rookie Ariel Pena (2-0, 3.50) has pitched five innings and allowed no more than two runs in each of his first three starts, including a no-decision against the Cardinals Sept. 15.
Cardinals: Carlos Martinez (14-7, 3.01) will look to continue his dominant pitching against the Brewers. Martinez has allowed one run in 15 innings against Milwaukee, striking out 17 and giving up six hits.