The Brewers matched the Cardinals in the hit column, but a lack of power and timely hitting resulted in a 4-1 loss on Wednesday night.
Milwaukee got on the board first on a sacrifice fly by Tyrone Taylor in the top of the second inning, but the Cardinals took the lead in the bottom half of the inning when Nolan Arenado homered off Corbin Burnes and Yadier Molina hit an RBI single.
The Brewers made Adam Wainwright labor through five innings but failed to cash in on opportunities with men on base. They loaded the bases in the first inning, but Andrew McCutchen hit a tapper back to the mound to end the threat. Another bases-loaded situation in the fourth proved fruitless when Rowdy Tellez lined out to right.
Wainwright allowed eight hits, walked two, and threw 98 pitches, but he allowed just one run in his record-setting 325th start with Yadier Molina behind the plate.
Burnes would allow another run in the fifth on a home run by Lars Nootbaar. Despite not having his best stuff, he worked seven innings and allowed just those three runs. Burnes scattered seven hits, walked one, and struck out five.
The Cardinals added an insurance run against Brad Boxberger in the bottom of the eighth thanks to some questionable defense by the Brewers. Paul Goldschmidt reached on a weakly-hit fly ball when neither Christian Yelich nor Tyrone Taylor took charge on the play. He was doubled off on a failed hit-and-run, but Tyler O’Neill reached with two outs on a routine ground ball when Jace Peterson took too long to make the throw.
That brought up Albert Pujols, who lined a double into left-center to make it 4-1 Cardinals. Trevor Kelley then entered and retired Molina on a groundout to end the inning.
Rowdy Tellez notched a two-out base hit in the ninth, but it was an otherwise easy inning for Ryan Helsley en route to the save.
Because the Padres lost earlier today to the Mariners, the Brewers’ status in the Wild Card race remains the same. They are two games behind San Diego, although they need to make up three games because they do not hold the tiebreaker.
The Brewers get tomorrow off then begin a three-game series at home with the Yankees on Friday. Adrian Houser, Brandon Woodruff, and Jason Alexander are the probable starters.
First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. CDT.