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Four Run First, Four-Plus Inning Bullpen Give Brewers 4-3 Win Over Cardinals

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"I'm pitching WHEN?!"
"I'm pitching WHEN?!"

W: John Axford (3-6)
L: Adam Wainwright (7-10)
S: Francisco Rodriguez (3)

HR: David Freese (14), Allen Craig (14)

MVP: Aramis Ramirez (+.158)
LVP: Rickie Weeks (-.100)

Win Expectancy Graph

It certainly didn't look likely following Monday's multi-level fiasco, but the Brewers took the last two games against the Cardinals for another series win.

Tyler Thornburg had a less-than-stellar outing today, showing signs of promise but once again clear indications that he still has things to work on before he's ready to be a dominant big leaguer. He allowed two runs on five hits over 4.2 innings, walking four and striking out five. Both runs scored on solo home runs, his sixth and seventh in three appearances in the majors. He also wasn't very efficient: He needed 103 pitches (on three days' rest) to record 14 outs.

With Thornburg done early the Brewers needed a lot of outs from their new bizarro bullpen. John Axford actually came into the game in the fifth inning, the earliest he's pitched in a game since 2009, and worked 1.1 scoreless innings. Manny Parra worked out of trouble in a scoreless seventh and Jose Veras got a big double play in a scoreless eighth.

Meanwhile, the Brewers got four runs against Adam Wainwright in the first inning on a pair of hits and two errors today, but the offense turned off after that. Hart had one of the two hits in that inning to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. After the first the Brewers managed just two more hits against Wainwright.

That set the stage for Francisco Rodriguez to walk the ninth inning tightrope again. Given a two run lead he loaded up the bases and walked in a run before retiring Lance Berkman on a fly out to end the game.

The Brewers are now three games under .500 for the first time since mid-May. They had been 0-7 in their last seven opportunities to get back to this point.

The Brewers are off tomorrow and resume play in Cincinnati on Friday night when Marco Estrada takes on Homer Bailey.