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St.  Louis,  MO (SportsNetwork.com) - John  Lackey emerged a winner in his St. 
Louis  debut, thanks  to  a  three-run seventh-inning  rally  that lifted  the 
Cardinals  to  a 3-2 decision  over the Milwaukee Brewers  in a key NL Central 
clash. 

After mustering a mere one hit against a dominant Matt Garza through the first 
six  innings, the Cardinals  rocked the  Milwaukee bullpen  for  five in  the 
deciding  seventh to claim Sunday's series rubber match and move within a game 
of the first-place Brewers in the division race. 

Matt  Holliday began  the comeback  with a  mammoth solo  home run,  with A.J. 
Pierzynski  and Oscar  Tavares  later delivering  RBI  singles against  Jeremy 
Jeffress (0-1) to put St. Louis in front. 

Garza had thrown just 71 pitches and allowed one hitter over the minimum prior 
to  being lifted for a pinch-hitter in the top of the seventh. Brewers manager 
Ron  Roenicke stated  afterward that the right-hander injured his left oblique 
near the end of the sixth inning. 

"Hopefully,  it's not  bad," said Garza of  the injury. "But it was bad enough 
where I had to take myself out of the game, and I don't do that. 

"I could have kept on and made it worse, and then could have been out probably 
the  rest  of the  year. I had  to go with  the smart  play. It's one of those 
things where you don't like it and don't understand it." 

Lackey  (1-0) was  tagged  for a  pair  of early  runs,  but steadied  himself 
thereafter  to throw  seven  solid  innings in  his  first  start since  being 
acquired from Boston at Thursday's trade deadline. 

Mark  Reynolds  belted a solo  homer for Milwaukee  and Aramis Ramirez went 2- 
for-4  with an RBI  in the loss, the Brewers' fifth in seven games. Ryan Braun 
also finished with two hits. 

Garza had been in total command before being forced out with Milwaukee holding 
a  2-0  edge. He  permitted just one  baserunner -- hitting  Matt Adams with a 
pitch  in the second  before erasing him on a double play -- through the first 
four  innings, then  stranded Adams following a leadoff double in the fifth to 
preserve the Brewers' two-run advantage. 

That  lead  quickly evaporated when  the Brewers' relief  corps came on in the 
bottom of the seventh, however. 

Zach  Duke surrendered  Holliday's  blast and  was then  removed  in favor  of 
Jeffress  after Adams  followed with a single. Three consecutive Cardinal base 
hits  ensued, with  Pierzynski plating Adams with a grounder through the right 
side in front of Tavares' liner up the middle that scored Jhonny Peralta. 

"We  weren't really trying to do anything except get guys on base," Pierzynski 
said.  "Matt hit  the home  run and  then we  just strung  a bunch  of singles 
together  to kind  of get us to  a point where we  were able to get a lead and 
then the bullpen did what they've done." 

The  Brewers  did threaten  against St.  Louis closer  Trevor Rosenthal in the 
ninth,  as a Khris  Davis single and a walk to Elian Herrera put the tying run 
in  scoring  position with  one  out.  Rosenthal,  though, bounced  back  with 
swinging strikeouts of Scooter Gennett and Carlos Gomez to nail down his major 
league-best 34th save of the year. 

Lackey's  debut as a  Cardinal got off to a bit of a rocky beginning, as Braun 
walloped  a double in  the top of the first inning and raced home on a Ramirez 
single  to send  the Brewers  ahead.  It was  a  2-0 game  shortly after  when 
Reynolds clobbered a slider into the left-field seats in the second. 

Lackey  was sharp from that point on, with the Brewers failing to get a runner 
past second over the veteran hurler's final five innings of work. 

"I  think  the first couple  innings he was really  excited and then he really 
settled  in and does what he does," said Pierzynski. "He makes big pitches and 
gets guys out." 

                                   Game Notes 

Lackey,  who  had spent  his previous  11 1/2 seasons  in the American League, 
improved  to 19-10  in  38 career  starts  against NL  teams  ... Gennett  and 
shortstop  Jean Segura  were both held out of Milwaukee's starting lineup with 
quad  injuries  ... Ramirez finished  the series 8-of-13  with four RBI and is 
hitting  .522  (12-of-23) during a six-game  hitting streak ... The teams will 
meet  seven more  times  in September,  including a  three-game  set at  Busch 
Stadium from Sept. 16-18. 

 

 
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