ST. LOUIS (AP) — Yadier Molina singled twice to reach 2,000 career hits and the St. Louis Cardinals began a five-game series between playoff contenders by beating the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 Thursday night.
Rookie Dylan Carlson homered, doubled and drove in three runs as the Cardinals (28-26) kept their slim lead over Cincinnati (29-28) for second place in the NL Central. St. Louis trails division leader Chicago by 2 1/2 games.
Milwaukee (27-29) missed a chance to move up in the wild-card standings. The Brewers and Cardinals play four more times this weekend, including a doubleheader Friday.
St. Louis starter Kwang Hyun Kim (3-0) went five innings to pick up the win. He allowed five hits and just one run in his seventh career start. Andrew Miller got the final two outs — both on strikeouts — to record his fourth save.
St. Louis took a 1-0 lead in the third on a single by Paul Goldschmidt.
Milwaukee placed RHP Freddy Peralta (3-1, 3.29) on the paternity list. Peralta and his wife are awaiting the birth of their first child. The reliever has 44 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings. To replace Peralta, the Brewers recalled LHP Eric Lauer.
Brewers: Ryan Braun, who got a day off Wednesday for a sore back, was back in the lineup Thursday. He was the DH and hit second.
Cardinals: RHP Carlos Martinez (left oblique strain) was put on the injured list. He departed Wednesday’s game in Kansas City with two runners on and nobody out in the sixth. The right-hander is not likely to pitch again in 2020 even if the Cardinals make a deep run in the playoffs.
Brewers: RHP Josh Lindblom (2-3, 4.81) will start Game 1 of the doubleheader. It will be his second start of 2020 against the Cardinals. He started at Miller Park in Game 1 of the Sept. 14 doubleheader, allowing three hits but receiving no-decision in the 2-1, 8-inning win. The Game 2 starter has not been announced.
Cardinals: RHP Jack Flaherty (4-2, 4.84)will start Game 1 and RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon (0-3, 5.74) will start Game 2. Flaherty makes his 12th career start against the Brewers, his most against any MLB opponent. In his last start against Milwaukee on Sept. 15, Flaherty allowed a career-high nine runs on eight hits in three innings as the Brewers went on to win 15-3.
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