St. Louis, MO – Yadier Molina had four hits, including the go-ahead two-run home run in the sixth inning, and scored twice as the St. Louis Cardinals downed the Milwaukee Brewers, 7-3, in the middle test of a three-game set at Busch Stadium.
Skip Schumaker also knocked in a pair of runs, while Kyle Lohse (4-0) allowed three runs on six hits and four walks through six innings for the Cardinals, who earned their third straight win.
"I'd say [Molina] had a good day," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "It was a good day offensively for Yadier and quite a few other guys."
Aramis Ramirez had two hits, including a home run, and scored twice for Milwaukee, which dropped its third consecutive game.
Marco Estrada (0-1) gave up five runs -- four earned -- on seven hits and two walks in a six-inning start to suffer the loss.
The Brewers entered the sixth inning trailing, 3-2, and loaded the bases with two outs when Ramirez hit a one-out single that was followed by a Corey Hart double over the head of Matt Holliday in left field and Alex Gonzalez worked a walk two batters later.
George Kottaras was then issued a five-pitch walk to bring home Ramirez before Estrada went down swinging to keep the score knotted at three.
"I wish I would have got a hit and scored some more runs for our team," Estrada said about his rally-ending strikeout.
The game wasn't tied for long, however, as Carlos Beltran started the home sixth with a walk and after David Freese lined out to right, Molina laced a low-and-inside curveball into the left-field bleachers for a 5-3 Cardinals advantage.
Schumaker's two-run double down the first-base line off Jose Veras in the eighth inning finalized the scoring as Victor Marte and Mitchell Boggs tossed perfect innings of relief before Jason Motte worked around a two-out pinch-hit single by Norichika Aoki in the ninth to hold on for the win.
Milwaukee put together a mild threat in the third after a leadoff single by Kottaras. Estrada advanced the runner with a bunt and Rickie Weeks followed with an infield single, but Carlos Gomez rapped into a 6-4-3 double play.
The Cardinals took advantage of an error in the bottom of the third to score twice. Lohse worked a one-out walk and the Brewers could have been out of the inning when Rafael Furcal followed with a hard grounder toward first. The ball skipped through Mat Gamel for an error, putting runners on the corners, and Jon Jay drilled a single into right to plate Lohse. Furcal advanced to third on the hit and scored when Holliday beat the relay on a potential double-play grounder.
Ramirez deposited an 0-1 offering over the wall in right-center field for his second homer of the season in the fourth to cut Milwaukee's deficit in half.
St. Louis got the run back in the bottom of the frame when Freese led off with a shot over the right-center field wall, but Gonzalez answered with a leadoff homer to straightaway center field in the fifth to make it a 3-2 game.
Ramirez connected for his 29th career home run against St. Louis...Molina had his 10th career four-hit game...Lohse is 4-0 to start a season for the first time in his 12-year career...Milwaukee went 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base...The Cardinals went 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded six.