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Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy hits a three-run double off of St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (not pictured) during the sixth inning at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on Friday. The Brewers won 7-4. Jeff Curry / USA Today Sports

Brewers clobber Cardinals

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ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Cardinals might have beefed up their starting rotation at the trading deadline Thursday, but they continued to struggle with other teams’ frontline starters Friday night.

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Milwaukee Brewers right hander Wily Peralta stifled St. Louis for the third time this year and Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright couldn’t match him as Milwaukee opened a pivotal National League Central series with a 7-4 win at sold-out Busch Stadium.

Peralta (13-6) pitched 6⅔ innings, allowing five hits and two runs while walking four and fanning three. In winning his fourth straight start, Peralta improved to 3-0 against St. Louis, permitting only three earned runs in 20 innings.

Closer Francisco Rodriguez picked up the final out for his 32nd save, tying Atlanta’s Craig Kimbrel and St. Louis’ Trevor Rosenthal for the league lead.

Wainwright (13-6) gave up nine hits and seven runs in 5⅓ innings, doling out three walks and striking out five. He left after yielding a three-run double to catcher Jonathan Lucroy in the sixth, upping the Brewers’ lead to 6-0.

Moments after yanking Wainwright for reliever Seth Maness, manager Mike Matheny departed as well. He was ejected by second base umpire Will Little, apparently for arguing a call earlier in the inning, which was upheld by replay.

Milwaukee (61-49) increased its division lead over St. Louis (57-51) to three games.

Left fielder Matt Holliday belted a solo homer in the sixth and second baseman Matt Carpenter supplied an RBI single in the seventh, then a two-run triple in the ninth. But St. Louis managed only six hits.

Milwaukee took the lead in the top of the second as third baseman Aramis Ramirez lined a 3-0 pitch off the top of the left-center field wall and into the Brewers’ bullpen, his 13th homer of the year.

Ramirez made it 2-0 in the fourth when he smoked a two-out double off the wall in left-center, scoring Lucroy from first base.

An inning later, right fielder Ryan Braun upped the lead to 3-0 when he ripped a ground-rule double to right-center, plating center fielder Carlos Gomez.

St. Louis missed on a great scoring chance in the first, loading the bases on three walks, but catcher A.J. Pierzynski popped up to second.

  • St. Louis recalled OF Shane Robinson from Class AAA Memphis and optioned RHP Carlos Martinez to Memphis. It will be Robinson’s fourth stint with the Cardinals this year; he’s hitting .140 with two RBIs in 31 games with them.
  • Milwaukee 2B Scooter Gennett (finger) was scratched from the lineup after being injured while bunting in batting practice. The team wasn’t sure of his status going forward.
  • St. Louis manager Mike Matheny announced that newly-acquired RHPs Justin Masterson and John Lackey will start Saturday night and Sunday, respectively.
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