Brewers top Cards to snap skid

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[September 01, 2016]  MILWAUKEE -- When Matt Carpenter ripped into a 91-mph fastball with two on and nobody out in the eighth inning Monday night, you could almost hear the resignation from the Milwaukee Brewers' dugout.

Twice in as many nights, they saw a late-inning lead disappear against the St. Louis Cardinals, and they were desperately trying to avoid it happening a third time.

So when Carpenter's ball sliced foul at the last second, Carlos Torres got a second chance and got out of the inning as the Brewers held on for a 3-1 victory, snapping a frustrating six-game losing streak.

"Carpenter is a tough customer," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "But Carlos ... nothing fazes him. He just kind of kept making pitches."

Torres took over for Matt Garza, who pitched a gem of a game and struck out eight while scattering three hits and a pair of walks over a season-high seven innings of work.

Yadier Molina tagged Garza for a solo home run with one out in the fourth but Garza retired the next 13 batters in a row and 14 of the next 15 before Greg Garcia led off the seventh with a base hit and pinch-hitter Stephen Piscotty worked Garza for a seven-pitch walk.

"Matt made some pitches that could have got him out but Piscotty fouled them off," Counsell said. "He kind of emptied the tank on that at-bat and did everything he could to get him out."

Torres came on to face Carpenter and after the foul ball scare, got the first out of the inning on a weak pop to second then struck out Jedd Gyorko looking.

Brandon Moss loaded the bases with a two-out walk but Torres left them stranded when he got Jhnonny Peralta to fly out to center and Tyler Thornburg closed the door with a perfect ninth for his sixth save.

"Torres came in and picked me up with runners on first and second, game on the line and he got three outs," said Garza, who took a victory for the first time since Aug. 11. "He shut the door. Then Thorny comes in and does his job and it was a high five all around."

The Brewers didn't get many opportunities against rookie right-hander Luke Weaver, who struck out 10 batters in six innings of work.

He got into trouble in the third, when Garza worked him full before drawing a two-out walk and Jonathan Villar followed with a double, putting runners at the corners for Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who sent a 1-0 offering to right to give Milwaukee a 3-0 lead.

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Brewers' Keon Broxton walks back to the dugout after striking out with the bases loaded in the sixth inning during the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

"That one at bat to Garza is kind of what set it off," Weaver said. "Just kind of lost a little feel for the ball there, and just lost him. I thought I made a good pitch to Villar, he put a good swing on it. And then that pitch to Nieuwenhuis, he put a great swing on it. Obviously I left it middle-middle there."

Weaver retired the next seven in a row, striking out the side in the fifth, then worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the sixth to end his day.

"I don't know what qualifies as a quality start, but in my book that was a very quality outing for the kid," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.

NOTES: Milwaukee traded minor league OF Eric Young, Jr. to the Yankees on Wednesday in exchange for cash considerations. Signed as a minor league free agent in January, Young batted .263 in 116 games this season for Triple-A Colorado Springs. ... C Yadier Molina's fourth inning home run gave the Cardinals at least one homer in each of their last 20 games, serving a new franchise record. ... The Cardinals were going for their first road sweep in Milwaukee since Sept. 15-17 of last season. ... Brewers manager Craig Counsell said OF Domino Santana was healthy despite being held out of the starting lineup for a third consecutive game. Santana has missed 73 games due to a shoulder injury this season and has started just five since coming off the disabled list Aug. 19. ... At 40-25, the Cardinals still hold the best road record in all of baseball this season. ... The Cardinals and Brewers will meet once more this season in a four-game set Sept. 8-11 in St. Louis.

[ 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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