ST. LOUIS —
A starting rotation that helped the St. Louis Cardinals race out to the best record in baseball is beginning to show some signs of wear and tear.
Jeff Bianchi drove in two runs with a 10th-inning single up the middle and Milwaukee snapped a four-game losing streak by beating the St. Louis Cardinals 6-4 on Saturday night.
Typically steady Lance Lynn had his second non-quality start of the season, lasting just five innings while giving up four earned runs on eight hits and two walks. His ERA rose to 3.27 from 2.88. He struck out three, his fewest since his first start of the season, when he was lifted after four innings at Arizona on April 3.
“I would have liked to pitch better today to help us win the game,” Lynn said.
His performance came just hours after the Cardinals placed left-hander Jaime Garcia on the 15-day disabled list with a left shoulder strain. He joins fellow starter Jake Westbrook on the DL.
Joe Kelly (0-2) took the loss in relief.
He had battled for the team’s fifth-starter position during spring training before settling into the bullpen, which struggled for the first month before the Cardinals called up rookies Seth Maness and Carlos Martinez. Kelly allowed runs for the first time in five appearances. He allowed two hits and a walk in one inning for the Cardinals, who fell to 0-3 in extra-inning games.
“I don’t think our whole team is looking at it like, “Oh, man, we’re not the same team as we were in the beginning of the year,” Kelly said. “It’s just time for the next guy to step up and keeping doing it.”
John Axford (1-3) gave up one hit and two walks in 1 1-3 innings to earn the win. Axford struck out two, including pinch-hitter Daniel Descalso with the bases loaded to end a ninth-inning threat.
Jim Henderson worked a perfect inning for his eighth save in eight chances.
Bianchi made his second start since coming off the disabled list on May 2 after being sidelined by bursitis in his left hip. The winning hit gave him his first two RBIs this season.
Jean Segura, Ryan Braun, Aramis Ramirez all had three hits for the Brewers. Segura and Braun both had two RBIs.
The Cardinals used four consecutive singles with two outs in the sixth inning to tie it 4-4. Matt Carpenter’s hit chased Milwaukee starter Marco Estrada and drove in Pete Kozma, who started the rally. Jon Jay’s single brought in Ty Wigginton.
Braun gave Milwaukee a 4-2 lead in the fifth with his second single of the game.
The Brewers broke through in the third with a two-out rally. Segura’s fourth triple of the season drove in Bianchi and Norichika Aoki to make it 2-2. Braun gave Milwaukee a 3-2 lead with his first single.
St. Louis scored twice in the second but left the bases loaded. Kozma drove in Allen Craig, who walked to start the inning. Carpenter’s single gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead.
Estrada gave up four runs, seven hits and four walks over 5 2-3 innings. He struck out two.
NOTES: Kozma has a five-game hitting streak (7-of-19, .368). . Jay has 14 RBIs in the past 14 games. . Aoki has multiple hits in five of past six games (13 of 26, .500). . Brewers LHP Chris Naverson threw curveballs Friday for the first time since going on the 15-day disabled list April 7 with a strained left middle finger. Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said it was the final test before Naverson was cleared to throw in a rehab game. … Milwaukee LHP Tom Gorzelanny remains on pace to return from the disabled list at the end of the month. He is set to throw a bullpen session Sunday and a simulated game Tuesday. He was sidelined on May 8 because of tendinitis in his left shoulder. … Former Cardinals OF So Taguchi provided color commentary on the game for Japanese broadcaster NHK from its Tokyo studio.