SAN LUIS – Tyler O’Neill and Lars Nootbaar hit back-to-back home runs during a five-touchdown attack in the fifth inning, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 8-4 on Thursday night.
Nolan Arenado also drove in a pair of runs for St. Louis, which erased a three-touchdown deficit and avoided the sweep in the three-game series. The Cardinals are three and a half games behind San Diego in the fight for the second wild-card spot to the National League playoffs.
Arenado started the decisive attack in the fifth act, with two outs. He hit an RBI single to left field off Brandon Woodruff (7-7), which pushed Andrew Kizner to cut the deficit to 4-2.
O’Neill followed with a three-run homer that blew the ball all over left field, 450 feet from home, for St. Louis to take the 5-4 lead.
Two pitches later, Nootbaar hit his third home run of the season, through right field. For the seventh time this season, the Cardinals hit home runs in straight at-bats.
Jon Lester allowed four runs and six hits over 4 1/3 innings, in which he also walked three.
The Dominicans Junior Fernández (1-0), Luis García and Génesis Cabrera, as well as the Mexican Giovanny Gallegos and TJ McFarland, combined for a four-inning and two-thirds blank relay.
It took Fernandez two pitches to force Lorenzo Cain to hit a double-play grounder in the fifth act. Thus he achieved the first victory of his life in the majors.
For the Brewers, Willy Adames 4-1 with an RBI. Venezuelans Eduardo Escobar 4-1, Avisaíl García 2-0 with a run scored, Manny Piña 2-1 with a run scored and an RBI, Omar Narváez 2-0. The Mexican Luis Urías 3-1 with one scored.
For the Cardinals, Venezuelan José Rondón 1-0. Panamanian Edmundo Sosa 1-0.