St. Louis, MO – Jonathan Lucroy hit a go-ahead two-run double as the Milwaukee Brewers salvaged a win in the finale of a three-game set with the St. Louis Cardinals, 3-2, on Sunday.
Aramis Ramirez also drove in a run for Milwaukee and Zack Greinke (3-1) picked up the win by scattering seven hits and four walks but just one run over six innings.
Closer John Axford had a shaky start to the ninth but escaped with his 48th consecutive regular-season save, passing Brad Lidge for fourth on baseball's all-time list.
Jamie Garcia (2-1) suffered the loss after surrendering three runs on nine hits and one walk with six strikeouts.
Rafael Furcal smacked a single that brought home Skip Schumaker in the home second to put St. Louis up 1-0.
Milwaukee got to Garcia for three runs in the sixth. It began with Carlos Gomez's base hit. He moved to second on a Ryan Braun groundout and came around to score when Ramirez roped a single to right.
Corey Hart followed with another single, and after Alex Gonzalez grounded out, Lucroy lined Garcia's 2-0 cutter off the wall in left, plating Ramirez and Hart.
"I knew he was probably going to try to pitch around me a little bit with a lefty on deck, and I was just looking for a ball up in the zone that I could really drive," Lucroy said. "He left one up there for me, and I just tried to hit the ball hard, and it ended up working out."
The Cardinals got back within one in the eighth, when Matt Carpenter came home from third on Daniel Descalso's groundout after he doubled and moved to third on Schumaker's line-drive hit, and the hosts threatened to end Axford's streak in the ninth.
Matt Holiday led off with a walk, and his pinch-running replacement Tyler Greene went first-to-third on Carlos Beltran's soft grounder up the middle.
But Axford got David Freese and Yadier Molina to strike out swinging, and Greene was caught stealing on the second strikeout for the final out.
"I left some guys on base. We just didn't get it done today. Today was a big day," Freese said. "I think the last few losses we've had, we can't rack too many of those up. When opportunities knock you have to come through if you're going to win the division."
It was Axford's fifth save this season...Axford is now only behind Eric Gagne (84), Tom Gordon (54) and Jose Valverde (51) on the all-time consecutive saves list...St. Louis went 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position and left 13 on base...Milwaukee continues a nine-game road trip with three at San Diego beginning Monday...St. Louis hosts Pittsburgh in a three-game set that opens Tuesday.