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Cardinals rally in 9th, beat Brewers 3-2

Monday, July 16, 2012 | 10:54 p.m. CDT; updated 11:03 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 16, 2012
St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina breaks his bat as he grounds out against the Milwaukee Brewers in the first inning of a game Monday in Milwaukee.

MILWAUKEE — Allen Craig hit a bloop RBI single off Brewers closer John Axford to take the lead, and the St. Louis Cardinals rallied to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 3-2 on Monday night.

Milwaukee was leading 2-0 going into the ninth but Axford struggled with his control right away, eventually loading the bases with two outs and giving up a game-tying, two-run single to Matt Holliday.

Axford (2-6) then was lifted after giving up the single to Craig, which dropped softly into shallow left field. Axford left the game to a steady stream of boos from the crowd.

Axford's sloppy inning wasted another strong performance by Brewers starter Mike Fiers, who pitched seven scoreless innings.

Jason Motte (4-3) claimed the win.

St. Louis had lost three straight coming into Monday's game after getting swept by Cincinnati.

Corey Hart hit a solo home run for the Brewers, his 17th of the season. Ryan Braun added an RBI double in the eighth.

Fiers continued his string of strong performances since he was recalled from Triple-A Nashville on May 29. Fiers was coming off a loss to the Miami Marlins where he gave up two runs in 7 1-3 innings — snapping a scoreless streak of 21 1-3 innings.

Monday's loss was another setback for the Brewers, who announced earlier in the day that ace Zack Greinke will skip his scheduled start Wednesday and isn't scheduled to start again until the Brewers' July 24 game at Philadelphia.

Manager Ron Roenicke said Greinke was fatigued and thrown off his routine after making three straight starts — a July 7 game where he was ejected in the first inning, another start the following day and again in the Brewers' first game after the All-Star break.

Greinke said before the game that he was "fine" with Roenicke's decision but was reluctant to discuss it. Greinke has been subject to trade speculation in recent weeks, with the Brewers mired in fourth in the NL Central.

The Cardinals had a scoring chance in the fourth when Yadier Molina hit a one-out double and David Freese walked. But Fiers got Matt Carpenter to fly out to center — allowing Molina to take third base — then got Daniel Descalso to ground out and end the inning.

Milwaukee had a chance with two outs in the fifth when a sharp grounder by Cody Ransom glanced off the glove of Freese at third base, allowing Ransom to take second base on a play that was ruled a double. But Descalso charged a soft grounder by Fiers and threw him out, ending the inning.

Descalso led off the seventh with a single, and Lynn remained in the game to hit. After taking a ball from Fiers, Lynn put two bunt attempts foul then struck out on another bunt attempt. Rafael Furcal hit a grounder back to Fiers, who bobbled the ball but recovered in time to throw Furcal out at first as Descalso took second. Fiers then got Skip Schumaker to line out, ending the inning.

Francisco Rodriguez relieved Fiers in the eighth and gave up a leadoff single to Matt Holliday, but got out of the inning without giving up a run.

Braun then gave the Brewers some breathing room, hitting a double to score Norichika Aoki. Braun took third on the throw home.


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