MILWAUKEE — The St. Louis Cardinals scored six runs in the fifth inning to rally for a 12-4 victory over Milwaukee, spoiling the Brewers’ 1982 World Series team reunion.
After a sluggish start that relegated them to fifth place in the N.L. Central by mid-May, the reigning World Series champions have clawed their way back into the division race. With Tuesday’s victory, St. Louis trails Milwaukee by 4½ games and second-place Chicago by three.
The Brewers weren’t exactly inspired by a pregame ceremony to commemorate the 25-year anniversary of what remains the franchise’s only World Series appearance. Both teams wore throwback uniforms to commemorate the 1982 series, in which the Cardinals defeated the Brewers in seven games — making Tuesday’s result look vaguely familiar.
The Cardinals tied a season high with 19 hits. Jim Edmonds went 4-for-6 and drove in three runs.
With Milwaukee leading 3-2 in the fifth inning, Brewers starter Chris Capuano hit Ryan Ludwick to load the bases with one out. Two runs then scored when a potential double-play ball glanced off the glove of third baseman Ryan Braun.
Edmonds singled to load the bases again, and Brewers manager Ned Yost removed Capuano from the game. Capuano (5-10) hasn’t won since May 7, losing his last 10 decisions.
Milwaukee reliever Manny Parra then walked in a run, gave up a two-run single to Cardinals pitcher Kip Wells and allowed a sacrifice fly to David Eckstein, putting the Cardinals ahead 8-3. Wells was hitting eighth in the lineup on Tuesday night, the 10th straight game manager Tony La Russa used a pitcher in that spot.
The Brewers got off to a fast start against Wells (6-13), as Prince Fielder crushed a 1-0 pitch to deep right center field in the first inning for his 37th homer. Braun singled, and Geoff Jenkins hit a two-run homer to put the Brewers ahead 3-0.
It was Jenkins’ 208th career home run as a Brewer, tying him for second on the team’s all-time home run list with Gorman Thomas — an icon of the 1982 team who was in town for the reunion. Another prominent ’82 Brewer, Robin Yount, has the franchise lead with 251.
The Cardinals answered with a two-run double by Ludwick in the third inning, scoring Brendan Ryan and Eckstein and cutting the Brewers’ lead to one. Milwaukee didn’t get another hit off Wells until Braun’s triple in the sixth.
Braun went 3-for-4 and hit his 23rd home run of the year.
Edmonds and Yadier Molina added RBI singles in the eighth, putting St. Louis ahead 10-3. Edmonds added a two-run double in the ninth to complete the scoring.
Notes: Commissioner Bud Selig, who owned the Brewers in 1982, addressed the crowd during the pregame ceremony but did not speak to reporters afterward. ... Yost said he has not heard anything from the league office about a potential punishment for Fielder, who was involved in a confrontation with umpire Wally Bell during the Brewers’ 6-4 loss at Houston on Sunday. Yost said he expected Fielder to be fined but didn’t know if he would be suspended. ... Cardinals pitcher Mark Mulder will likely make a minor-league rehab start on Thursday. Mulder has missed 116 games as a result of left shoulder surgery. ... Braun, hitting in the cleanup spot for the first time, singled in the first inning and has an 11-game hitting streak.