Cardinals produce 18 hits, crush Brewers in series opener
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Cardinals produce 18 hits, crush Brewers in series opener

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ST. LOUIS — For the first time since 2015, the Milwaukee Brewers hit four home runs in a game and lost.

After some hitting advice from Barry Bonds, Dexter Fowler hit his first home run this season and drove in four runs to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 13-5 victory in the opener of a three-game series Monday at Busch Stadium.

Fowler recounted a Monday text from Bonds, the career home run leader.

"He's like, 'Keep swinging it. Now over .300,'" Fowler explained. "I said: 'I got you, I got you.'"

Fowler's big night hiked his average to .313.

"I've been feeling good," Fowler said. "I've been putting good swings, good at-bats. It's kind of contagious. The boys have been taking good at- bats, and it's awesome to see."

Paul Goldschmidt hit his ninth home run and had three hits and three RBIs for the Cardinals. St. Louis outhit Milwaukee 18-5, setting a season high for runs and hits in winning its third straight.

"I have some good games against these guys this season and, hopefully, will continue to do that," Goldschmidt said. "But they're really good. They've had some games where they've punched me out three times or had some 0-fers too."

Fowler had the fifth four-hit game of his career, his first since June 9, 2013, against San Diego.

"I'm just going out there trying to take good AB's and let the game come to me," Fowler said.

Ryan Braun, Hernán Pérez, Yasmani Grandal and Travis Shaw homered for Milwaukee, which has lost five of six.

Jack Flaherty (2-1) allowed four runs and three hits - all homers - in six innings. He struck out 10, reaching double digits for the fourth time in his big league career.

"Balls are really flying," Flaherty said. "Guys are going to hit home runs, and you're going to give up home runs. Mistakes are going to be made."

Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell thought Flaherty was throwing well.

"We ended up scoring four runs in six innings so I think we did a decent job against him," Counsell said. "Not a lot of hits, but he made some mistakes and we hit some long balls."

Adrian Houser (0-1) lost in his season debut and first big league start. He gave up five runs and nine hits in four-plus innings.

Kolten Wong hit an RBI single in the second, and Fowler made it 3-0 in the third with his first home run since July 24, a two-run drive.

Braun's solo homer and Perez's two-run home run tied the score in the fifth, but Goldschmidt put the Cardinals ahead to stay with a two-run homer in the bottom half that chased Houser.

"Very disappointing on my part," Houser said. "The guys battled back and they tied it up for us, and I didn't come out and do my job and execute some pitches there."

Grandal homered in the sixth, but St. Louis blew open the game with a seven-run seventh off Jacob Barnes and Aaron Wilkerson that included a two-run, pinch-hit single by rookie Lane Thomas.

Milwaukee has 47 home runs this season while St. Louis has 35. The Brewers have hit 21 and the Cardinals 17 in their eight games against each other.

Wacha won’t face Brewers

Cardinals right-hander Michael Wacha was placed on the 10-day injured list because of patellar tendinitis in his left knee and will miss today’s scheduled start.

“Something he’s had in the past,” St. Louis manager Mike Shildt said. “It occurred in a recovery workout from a start and just didn’t feel like he was going to be able to go.”

Shildt thinks Wacha will miss just one turn.

“I definitely think this is something that we will put behind us once he takes his next start,” the manager said.

Wacha is sidelined for the fourth time in six years. He was 8-2 in 15 starts last year but did not pitch for the Cardinals after June 20 because of a strained oblique muscle in his left side.

He is 1-0 with a 4.64 ERA in four starts this season. He beat Milwaukee 6-3 last week, allowing two runs in six innings.

Daniel Ponce de Leon will be brought up from Class AAA Memphis to take Wacha’s turn. He is 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA in three starts at Memphis.

“He’s done a nice job when he’s been here in a starting role and a relieving role,” Shildt said.

Zach Davies (2-0), who has a 2-2 record against the Cardinals, including 0-2 with a 9.28 ERA in two starts last season, will start for the Brewers.

Guerra out

Brewers right-hander Junior Guerra was placed on the bereavement list. He went home to Venezuela to be with his ill father, but the Brewers expect he will rejoin the team for a weekend series at the New York Mets. ... Left-hander Donnie Hart was optioned to Triple-A San Antonio, while Hauser and RHP Jake Petricka were recalled from San Antonio. 

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Related to this story

Christian Yelich hit his major league-leading 14th home run, tying the record for most before May 1, and Josh Hader needed just 20 pitches to retire six batters Saturday night and close out the Brewers' 8-6 win over the New York.

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