MILWAUKEE (AP) _ Lance Lynn pitched two-hit ball into the
seventh inning and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee
Brewers 9-3 on Sunday, taking two out of three games from their NL
Central rivals to start the season. Ryan Braun hit his first home run of the year for the Brewers, a solo shot with the game well out of reach in the ninth.
It was the third career start for Lynn (1-0), who played a key
relief role during the Cardinals’ championship run last season. The
24-year-old right-hander was added to the rotation after Chris
Carpenter went on the disabled list with a shoulder problem this
Corey Hart had a solo homer in the fifth for Milwaukee after
hitting a pair of home runs Saturday. Lynn gave up one run and struck out eight, a career high, while walking only one in 6 2-3 innings. He also picked Braun off first
base to end the first and singled in the fourth for his first
Carlos Beltran hit a two-run homer for the Cardinals, his second
of the season. Shane Robinson added a three-run shot in the ninth,
the first homer of his career. Randy Wolf (0-1) threw 108 pitches in five innings for the
Brewers, giving up three runs and nine hits with a walk and seven
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny made several lineup changes for
Sunday’s game, starting Tyler Greene at second base, Matt Carpenter
at first, Tony Cruz at catcher and Robinson in center field. Even
without a few of their regular players, the Cardinals managed to
give Wolf some trouble. Matt Holliday gave the Cardinals a 1-0 lead in the first when he
hit a one-out double to center and afael Furcal scored from first
on a high throw home by Rickie Weeks. Holliday took third on the
throw, but was stranded there when Wolf got Beltran and David
Freese to ground out.
The Cardinals added another run in the fourth, when Furcal
delivered a two-out RBI single on a 3-2 pitch from Wolf, scoring
Robinson from second for a 2-0 lead.
Mixing up mid-90s fastballs and 79 mph breaking ball, Lynn gave
up only one hit through his first four innings. The closest the
Brewers came to scoring early on was a long fly off the bat of
Braun that died at the warning track in center to end the fourth.
Wolf gave up another run in the fifth on an RBI single by
Freese, but he limited the damage by getting Robinson to strike out
with runners on first and second to end the inning.
Hart then homered off Lynn in the bottom of the fifth. Beltran
homered off reliever Marco Estrada in the seventh, giving the
Cardinals a 5-1 lead.
With Milwaukee trailing 6-1 in the eighth, Alex Gonzalez hit an
RBI double to cut the deficit to four.
Brewers closer John Axford made his first appearance of the
season in the ninth but was taken out of the game after
back-to-back walks. Kameron Loe came in and gave up a three-run
homer to Robinson.