The Milwaukee Brewers, looking to gain ground in the NL Central, started a vital series against division rival St. Louis Cardinals and took the opener 6-2.

Zack Greinke got the win in a battle of two former Cy Young winners. Chris Carpenter suffered a meltdown in the 5th inning that put the game out of the Cardinals’ reach. Greinke gave up 2 runs across 6 innings, and looked excellent after a tough start. The Cardinals got a 2-run homer to kick things off, but Greinke stayed out of trouble for most of his night. The team is 4-1 in his last 5 starts, and he’s been a strong 1.71 ERA over that stretch.

The Brewers looked like they would be in for a long night against longtime nemesis Carpenter. Once the 5th inning stuck, it all fell apart for St. Louis. 6 straight hits turned a 2-0 deficit into a 5-2 lead. The entire lineup came to bat in the 5th, and it deflated the Cardinals’ entire club. They got into some threatening situations, but LaTroy Hawkins and Kameron Loe fought through the rest of the way for the win. Hawkins dealt with 2 innings of relief, only the second time he’s done that work all year. But he’s been incredibly reliable out of the bullpen and filled the spot well.

The big night goes to Nyjer Morgan, who watched 5 people get hits ahead of him and then himself contributed to a decisive 3-run double. The magic of Miller Park puts the Cardinals further down the division standings as month #5 kicks off across baseball. The race continues tomorrow with Shaun Marcum taking the mound.

Follow me on Twitter ( @MilwaukeeBrian ) and don’t miss the Brewers’ “A Simple Kind of Fan” each Tuesday from Pocket Doppler’s Brew Town Boozer.


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