ST. LOUIS -- Eric Thames homered and drove in three runs, Matt Garza pitched five innings in his first start after a short stint on the disabled list, and the Milwaukee Brewers held on to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-6 Wednesday night.
Eric Sogard added a two-run double to lead a four-run second inning as Milwaukee improved to 18-13 on the road.
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Aledmys Diaz hit a two-run homer for the Cardinals, who nearly recovered after falling behind 6-0. St. Louis has lost two in a row after winning four straight.
Closer Corey Knebel came on with two outs in the top of the eighth after a one-hyour rain delay and got the last four outs for his 10th save in 13 chances.
Thames, who entered the game in a 1-for-15 skid, had a two-run homer in the first and an RBI double in the second against starter Mike Leake (5-6).
Garza (3-2) allowed four runs and five hits. He suffered a chest contusion while running into teammate Jesus Aguilar on June 3 and missed one start.
Milwaukee jumped out to a 6-0 lead with two runs in the first and four in the second against Leake, who dropped his fourth successive decision..
Diaz's blast off reliever Jacob Barnes in the eighth brought St. Louis to 7-6.
The contest was delayed twice by rain, with the delays totaling 1 hour, 50 minutes.
FIRST INNING MAGIC
The Cardinals had given up a total of just two runs in the opening inning during their first 34 home games. Thames doubled that total with his two-run homer.
St. Louis INF Kolten Wong was removed before the sixth inning due to right forearm tightness.
Wong, who went 1 for 2, has hit safely in six consecutive games since coming off the disabled list June 6 with a left elbow strain.
Brewers: RHP Garza was removed from the 10-day disabled list in time for the start. RHP Neftali Feliz was designated for assignment to make room for Garza.
Cardinals: LHP Marco Gonzales was returned to Triple-A Memphis after he started the second game of the day-night doubleheader on Tuesday. Gonzales gave up five runs on six hits in 3 1/3 innings.
Brewers: RHP Zach Davies (7-3, 4.74) will start in the final game of the four-game series on Thursday. Davies is 2-0 with a 2.81 ERA in five career starts against St. Louis.
Cardinals: RHP Michael Wacha (3-3, 4.50) will start for the Cardinals in the finale game of a seven-game homestand. Wacha has gone six innings or more in eight of 11 starts this season. He has a 4-0 career mark against the Brewers.