ST. LOUIS —The Milwaukee Brewers were able board a plane and leave St. Louis a little earlier than expected.
Mike Moustakas homered and Keston Hiura drove in a pair of runs to lead Milwaukee to a 5-3 win over the Cardinals in a rain-shortened game Wednesday night at Busch Stadium.
The game was stopped after 7½ innings and made official following a rain delay of 66 minutes.
Moustakas stopped short of calling the game a must win.
"But it was pretty important," he said.
Milwaukee broke a six-game losing streak against the Cardinals, who were knocked out of first place in the NL Central — falling one-half game behind the Cubs. Chicago beat San Francisco 12-11.
Milwaukee, which won for the third time in nine games, is 3½ behind the Cubs. The victory stamps an end to a 2-4 road trip through Washington and St. Louis.
Milwaukee lost four of the first five in the six-game trip including the opening two of the three-game set to the Cardinals.
"It was a tough trip, but we ended on a good note," said manager Craig Counsell, whose team hosts Arizona and St. Louis in three-game sets beginning Friday at Miller Park.
Adrian Houser (6-5) gave up three runs — one earned — and six hits in 5⅓ innings. It marked the third straight start he’s allowed just one earned run. Houser struck out six and walked two.
"You lose those first two, but you make some ground up by getting that last one," Houser said. "We (didn't) get swept, it's a big step."
Junior Guerra got the last out in the bottom of the seventh and earned his third save.
Moustakas, who also walked three times, hit a three-run homer in the first off Adam Wainwright (9-9) to highlight a four-run outburst.
"He made a really good pitch and I got lucky," Moustakas said of his 31st homer of the season. "I was able to stay back just enough and get the barrel to the ball."
Hiura had run-scoring hits in the first and fourth innings for a 5-0 lead.
The Brewers needed just 17 pitches to go in front 4-0 as five of the first six hitters reached safely.
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“We swung at the right pitches,” Counsell said. “That was the game really for us offensively, that first inning.”
Moustakas added: "This offense, we can break out at any time. We put together some really good at-bats early in the game."
Wainwright gave up five runs and eight hits over five innings.
"I had horrible fastball command," Wainwright said. "Did not have good stuff and was just out there trying to battle."
St. Louis capitalized on a pair of errors to get within 5-2 in the fifth inning. Yadier Molina’s double brought the Cardinals to 5-3 with a double in the sixth.
Milwaukee infielder Orlando Arcia has now gone 47 successive games without an error, the second-longest streak in franchise history. Mark Loretta went 63 straight games from 2000-2001.
Suter on mend
Brent Suter, on the injured list following Tommy John surgery last August, threw 42 pitches over three scoreless innings for Class AAA San Antonio against Iowa on Tuesday.
The right-hander also threw 50 pitches in 2⅔ innings last Thursday.
But Counsell remains cautious on a timetable for Suter’s return to the big leagues.
“If he would be a member of our guys in September, it would be with rest involved,” Counsell said. “There would be a specific way to use him, just because of where he’s at in the recovery process.
“He’s certainly in the conversation for September. We’ll just continue … that same pitch mark. We’re not going to go much above that at this point or this year. But he’s doing great. He’s doing great. We want him to keep logging innings, and he’s in a position where the recovery stuff is just really what we’re more concerned about than the pitching. He’s shown that he’s pitching well. We just have to make sure that he’s recovering well.”
Brewers right-hander Jordan Lyles (7-8, 4.96 ERA) will face Arizona righty Merrill Kelly (9-12, 4.63) on Friday.
Lyles has a 7.23 ERA in 20 career games against Arizona. He is making his fifth start for the Brewers after being acquired from Pittsburgh in exchange for right-hander Cody Ponce on July 29.