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(Saturday, April 7th)
Final Score: Milwaukee 6, St. Louis 0
Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) - Corey Hart blasted two home runs to spoil Adam Wainwright's return to the mound as the Milwaukee Brewers blanked the St. Louis Cardinals, 6-0, in the middle test of a three-game series.
Hart took the righty deep for a solo homer in the second inning and hit a two- run shot off Victor Marte in the sixth. Rickie Weeks homered off Fernando Salas in the eighth, part of a 2-for-4 afternoon in which he scored twice.
Zack Greinke (1-0) was excellent in his first start of the season, allowing just three singles in seven innings while striking out seven.
"I threw good games last year, but always seemed to find a way to give up a run," Greinke said. "You're always excited to pitch your first game, regardless if it's opening day or not."
Wainwright (0-1), who placed second in NY Cy Young voting in 2010, missed the Cardinals' entire campaign last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in early 2011. He allowed three runs on four hits while striking out six in 5 2/3 innings.
"I think we all went in there knowing [Greinke] had good stuff, and he had a good spring, so we knew he was feeling good. But our guy went out there and kind of did the same thing," said St. Louis manager Mike Matheny. "He just had one bad breaking ball that he left up. He did a great job against a great lineup."
The Cardinals were held to just five hits, all singles, including two from David Freese.
Hart, coming off knee surgery during spring training, led off the home half of the second by poking a 2-0 sinker into the left-field seats.
"He missed a spot and I was able to get good wood on it," Hart said. "It was big to come out and win today after what happened yesterday. Today was an important game."
Weeks singled to open the bottom of the sixth. Wainwright attempted to get him at second on Nyjer Morgan's sacrafice bunt, but the throw sailed into center.
Wainwright almost escaped the inning unharmed after getting Ryan Braun to ground into a double play, but Aramis Ramirez drove a curveball into deep center, scoring Weeks. It was the first hit in a Brewers uniform for Ramirez, who signed a three-year deal in the offseason.
"A huge time, that was a critical time in the game [for Ramirez's first hit]," said Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke. "It gave us a little breathing room."
Wainwright then departed the mound in favor of Marte, who promptly served up Hart's second homer, a long shot to dead center.
The Brewers tacked on two more in the eighth, on Weeks' solo blast and a pair of doubles from Braun and Carlos Gomez.
Wainwright threw 88 pitches, 56 for strikes...Milwaukee was 3-for-7 with runners in scoring position, while St. Louis went 0-for-3.
04/07 19:54:16 ET
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