ST. LOUIS – Kyle Lohse threw six scoreless innings on eight days' rest and the St. Louis Cardinals got home runs from Jon Jay and Matt Holliday in the third inning, slicing just a bit into the Milwaukee Brewers' formidable NL Central lead with a 4-2 victory on Tuesday night.
Lohse (13-8), who leads the Cardinals in victories, gave up four hits, struck out six and walked three. He was pushed back two days behind Chris Carpenter and Jake Westbrook after giving up four runs in five innings in a win against Pittsburgh in his last start.
Yovanni Gallardo (15-10) gave up three runs in six innings, and has allowed six home runs in 10 2-3 innings over his last two starts, both losses to the Cardinals. He gave up only three his previous seven starts combined.
Gallardo dropped to 1-7 with a 5.66 ERA for his career against the Cardinals, the lone victory on May 7 in St. Louis when he took a no-hitter into the eighth of a 4-0 victory.
Nyger Morgan had three hits and Jonathan Lucroy had an RBI double in the eighth for the Brewers, who lead the Central by 9½ games with 19 to play after their four-game winning streak was snapped. Corey Hart extended his hitting streak to 18 games for Milwaukee, which is a major-league best 40-16 since July 6 — with six of the losses against the Cardinals.
Jason Motte allowed three hits and Prince Fielder's RBI single in the ninth before earning his third save in six chances in a September shot at closing. The run ended a streak of 21 consecutive scoreless appearances for Motte, and also was the first earned run he allowed in 34 appearances since June 24. Fernando Salas, who has 23 saves in 28 chances, got the first two outs in the seventh.
Lance Berkman, who struck out three times against Gallardo the last meeting, gave the Cardinals the lead with an RBI in the first. Jay hit his 10th homer with one out in the third and Holliday hit his 22nd just inside the right-field foul pole with two outs.
The Cardinals had three straight singles off Kameron Loe with one out the seventh with Jay getting the RBI before Albert Pujols hit into his major-league leading 26th double play. The Cardinals lead the majors with 151 — 15 shy of the major league record held by the 1958 Cardinals.
NOTES: Zack Greinke (14-5) opposes Chris Carpenter (8-9) in the finale of a three-game series. Carpenter is 5-6 with a 5.05 ERA in 14 career starts against Milwaukee and is 1-2 with a 5.68 ERA in three starts this year. ... Pujols has one more double play ball than Boston's Adrian Gonzalez. Holliday and Yadier Molina are in a three-way tie for second in the NL along with Atlanta's Alex Gonzalez. ... Lohse beat the Brewers for the first time in four decisions at home. ... Hart doubled to lead off the game and singled to start the ninth and is batting .359 (28-for-78) with five homers and nine RBIs.