National League Game Summary - St. Louis at Milwaukee
(Wednesday, August 31st)
Final Score: St. Louis 8, Milwaukee 3
Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) - Jake Westbrook hit a grand slam for his first career homer and pitched five innings for the win, leading the Cardinals over the Brewers, 8-3, on Wednesday.
Westbrook homered in the fourth inning to break a 2-2 tie and St. Louis cut Milwaukee's lead to 8 1/2 games atop the NL Central.
"It's pretty special to go back and say you've hit a grand slam," the pitcher said. "I just wanted to keep it fair and it turned out to be a big hit for us."
The Cardinals have captured the first two games of this three-game set to hand the red-hot Brewers their first series loss since they dropped two of three at San Francisco from July 22-24.
Westbrook (11-7) gave up three runs -- two earned -- on eight hits for only his second win in seven starts.
St. Louis improved to 5-1 in its last six games, while Milwaukee fell to 27-7 in its last 34.
The Brewers went 21-7 in August, falling one win short of setting a new franchise record for victories in a month. The 1978 team was 21-9 in June.
"They've earned their record," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "They'll be tough to catch but we never give in. We've got to tough out this last month and generate a lot of wins. If we win a lot of games the next two weeks, maybe we can get excited."
Wednesday's game was defined by home runs -- including leadoff shots for both teams.
Rafael Furcal knocked Randy Wolf's third pitch of the game over the wall in left-center field for his 28th career leadoff homer. Two batters later, Albert Pujols belted his 32nd homer of the season to center field to give the Cardinals a 2-0 edge.
Wolf (11-9) allowed six runs and seven hits over five innings to take the loss, his first in seven starts.
"It was not a good way to start the game with two home runs and both of them with two strikes," said Wolf. "Things happen like this. We're a group that knows you're going to occasionally have bad games. A lot of us have short memories and we'll just have to put this one behind us."
In the bottom of the first, Corey Hart hit his 22nd homer of the season, and fifth leadoff blast to get the Brewers within 2-1. They would have had another home run in the third inning, but Ryan Braun fell after rounding third base on a long drive that kicked off the wall in left-center field.
Trying for an inside-the-park homer, Braun steamed around third but lost his footing and fell flat on his stomach. He scrambled to get up, then fell again, settling for an RBI triple that tied the game.
In the fourth, Wolf hit two batters with a pitch and Yadier Molina singled before Westbrook roped a first-pitch fastball inside the left field pole to make it 6-2.
"It was a good feeling when I saw it go over the wall," he said. "I just kind of ran into one."
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said Wolf threw a cut fastball on the homer.
"Westbrook got underneath it," said Roenicke. "The cutter looked like it got down and in, but that was a killer."
Jerry Hairston Jr. hit an RBI single off Westbrook in the fourth for Milwaukee's last run. Pinch-hitter Corey Patterson hit an RBI double in the sixth and scored on Furcal's single to give the Cardinals their lead.
"There was some bizarreness" in the game, La Russa said, "and then it settled down."
Milwaukee's Taylor Green got his first major league hit in his first at-bat, a pinch-hit single in the fifth inning...Wolf, who struck out three, had been 5-0 in his previous six starts (the Brewers were 6-0). His last loss was July 23...Westbrook is 2-3 in his last seven starts.
08/31 23:56:47 ET