The Cardinals pushed across seven runs in the seventh inning and went on to a 13-5 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium on Monday night.
Holding a 5-4 lead, the home team loaded the bases when Matt Carpenter hit an opposite-field double, Paul Goldschmidt walked and Paul DeJong singled.
Those three scored as Marcell Ozuna walked with the bases loaded, Jose Martinez hit a sacrifice fly and Yadier Molina followed with a run-scoring single to right-center field.
After a pitching change, Dexter Fowler singled to left-center, giving the Cardinals another run. Pinch-hitter Lane Thomas added to the lead with a bases-loaded single to left that drove in the two runs and made it 11-4.
A run-scoring single by Goldschmidt closed out the seven-run outburst.
In the eighth, Fowler singled to drive in the game's final run. It was the fifth four-hit game of his career.
Travis Shaw hit a solo homer _ the Brewers' fifth round-tripper of the night _ in the ninth for the visitors.
Goldschmidt's two-run homer in the fifth inning _ after the Brewers had tied it at 3-3 in the top of the inning _ allowed the Cardinals to regain the lead at 5-3.
The Brewers' Yasmani Grandal hit a solo shot with two outs in the sixth to make it 5-4.
The Brewers, who were held without a hit through 4 1/3 innings by starter Jack Flaherty, had tied it with three runs on a pair of home runs in the fifth.
Fowler's two-run shot into the Cardinals' bullpen in the fourth allowed the home team to stretch its lead to 3-0.
In the top of the fifth, Ryan Braun connected for the visitors' first hit of the game, an opposite-field home run with one out to make it 3-1.
After Eric Thames walked, Hernan Perez hit the first pitch he saw into the Milwaukee bullpen, evening the game at 3-3.
The Cardinals threatened but failed to score in the first inning against Milwaukee's Adrian Houser, who was making his first big-league start.
After starter Flaherty retired the visiting Brewers in order in the top of the first, Carpenter led off the home half of the first with a walk and Goldschmidt followed with an infield single.
But DeJong struck out and Ozuna hit into a 5-4-3 double play to end the threat.
The Cardinals jumped on top in the second on a two-out single from Kolten Wong. Martinez led off with a single, but was thrown out a third on a one-out Fowler single to Braun in left. But with two outs, Wong singled to right, driving in Fowler with the game's first run.
The Cardinals, who outhit the Brewers 18-5 in the series opener, got four hits, including a two-run homer, and four RBIs from Fowler and three hits, a two-run homer and three RBIs from Goldschmidt. Carpenter, DeJong and Martinez chipped in with two-hit games and Lane Thomas drove in a pair of runs. Flaherty (2-1) picked up the win, striking out 10 over six innings.
WACHA INJURED, PONCE de LEON TO START TUESDAY
The Cardinals have placed righthander Michael Wacha, who was to have started Tuesday against the Milwaukee Brewers, on the 10-day injured list.
Wacha, whose injury list time can be backdated to April 19, is suffering from left knee patellar tendinitis.
To replace him on the roster initially, infielder/outfielder Drew Robinson, who has been hot at Class AAA Memphis since being sent down again a week ago, was recalled for Monday night’s game against the Brewers.
Another move will be made Tuesday, when the Cardinals call up righthander Daniel Ponce de Leon to pitch that night’s game. He will be starting on proper rest.
Ponce de Leon, who was 0-2 with the Cardinals in 11 games (four starts) last season, is 2-0 at Memphis. In his big-league debut last July in Cincinnati, Ponce de Leon threw seven no-hit innings but got a no-decision.
Robinson has reached base in seven of his last 13 plate appearances for Memphis. The lefthanded hitter is nothing for six with the Cardinals this year.
Wacha is 1-0 with a 4.64 earned run average in four starts, including a 6-3 win over the Brewers last Wednesday. The righthander leads the staff with 24 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings.
"Ponce de Leon is the right guy for a couple of reasons,'' Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said before Monday's game. "First of all, he's got experience up here. He's done a nice job when he's been here in a starting role. He's been very competitive in throwing the ball well down in Memphis."
The manager said that Wacha's injury flared up during a recovery workout and does not expect him to miss more than one start.
"Doesn't matter who I face, going to have to face them if I'm in the big leagues," Ponce de Leon said. "All four pitches have been coming into play lately. Seeing a lot of familiar faces in this locker room, it's nice.
"In the spring, I just never got into my normal way of pitching. But down there, I was able to get back to where I needed to be. The way I pitched (in the spring) I didn't deserve to be here."
(Rick Hummel contributed to this report.)
CARDS, BREWERS OPEN SERIES
Trailing the NL Central-leading Pittsburgh Pirates by one game, the Cardinals (12-9) square off with the Milwaukee Brewers (13-10) for the first of three Monday evening at Busch Stadium.
The Brewers have dominated the season series by winning three of four against the visiting Cardinals to open the season and then took two of three again early last week at Miller Park.
After these three at Busch, the NL Central rivals won't meet again until Aug. 19-21 at Busch. They're also scheduled to square off Aug. 26-28 in Milwaukee and Sept. 13-15 at Busch.
In Monday's series opener, the Cardinals will turn to Jack Flaherty (1-1, 5.00 ERA). The young righthander has struggled this season, pitching past the fifth in just one of his four starts. In two previous games against the Brewers, he has allowed nine runs and 16 hits in just seven innings.
Milwaukee's Ryan Braun has been especially successful against Flaherty in his career, batting .556 with two homers and four RBIs.
Although he's hitting .267 with no homers and one RBI in his career against Flaherty, the Brewers' Christian Yelich, the reigning NL MVP, has destroyed the Redbirds this season, hitting .500 with eight homers, eight walks and 19 RBIs.
It should be noted that Yelich has no homers and just two RBIs on the road to start this season.
"I think we've been pretty clear about how we can best pitch to Christian Yelich. I just don't feel we've had the ability to execute. I know we haven't had the ability to execute,'' Shildt said. "He's put a lot of good swings on a lot of pitches."
Shildt continued: "It's a matter of execution _ I know that's not a sexy answer _ but it really is the honest truth. The guy has made outs. But if you look at every out he's made, look at every sequence, which we've done.... But if the ball's out over the plate, it's not a recipe against anybody, especially when you have an elite hitter that's locked in and not missing it.
"I don't want to minimize what he's doing. He's a talented player. But if we execute pitches, we've got a really good chance of making him mortal."
The Brewers will counter Monday night with rookie righthander Adrian Houser, 26, in his first big-league start after a callup from San Antonio. He made two relief appearances in 2015 and seven more last season. In three Triple A starts this spring, he's 1-0 with a 1.10 ERA. He's struck out 18 and walked just two.
The Cardinals and Brewers will meet Tuesday at 6:45 p.m. and Wednesday at 12:15 p.m.
GOMBER NAMED PCL PITCHER OF WEEK
Memphis lefty Austin Gomber was names Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week on Monday. He tossed a complete-game shutout in Saturday's 3-0 Redbirds' win over the Rock Rock Express in the second game of a doubleheader. He allowed three hits over seven innings, retiring the final nine hitters he faced.
He struck out six and walked one, needing just 87 pitches. In four starts this season, Gomber is 2-0 with a 3.22 ERA and has struck out 22 in 22 1/3 innings. He's allowed just five walks this season and opponents are hitting just .215 against him.
Lorenzo Cain, CF
Christian Yelich, RF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Travis Shaw, 3B
Ryan Braun, LF
Eric Thames, 1B
Hernan Perez, 2B
Orlando Arcia, SS
Adrian Houser, P
Matt Carpenter, 3B
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
Paul DeJong, SS
Marcell Ozuna, LF
Jose Martinez, RF
Yadier Molina, C
Dexter Fowler, CF
Kolten Wong, 2B
Jack Flaherty, P