Molina hits a grand slam, Cardinals beat Brewers
It was 2-all in the eighth when an error by Brewers third baseman Casey McGehee on a hard grounder by Albert Pujols helped St. Louis break away. Matt Holliday singled home the go-ahead run.
The Cardinals won for the third time in four games. They began the day trailing NL Central leader Cincinnati by seven games.
Mitchell Boggs (2-2) pitched 1 1-3 innings for the win.
Milwaukee starter Yovani Gallardo bounced back from three consecutive poor starts to pitch seven solid innings, but St. Louis erupted against three relievers.
With one out in the eighth, John Jay was hit by a pitch from Zach Braddock (1-2).
Jeremy Jeffress, one of the top prospects in the Brewers' system, was then summoned to make his Miller Park debut. The right-hander got Pujols to hit what could've been an inning-ending double play, but it bounced off McGehee's glove.
Holliday's single put the Cardinals ahead, Colby Rasmus was intentionally walked to load the bases and Todd Coffey replaced Jeffress.
Pedro Feliz hit the first pitch from Coffey for a single, making it 4-2. Molina's slam into the left-field stands was his sixth homer of the year.
The Brewers pulled within 8-4 in the bottom half on an RBI single by McGehee and an RBI double by Alcides Escobar.
Hart hit his 26th and 27th home runs. Rickie Weeks hit his 26th for Milwaukee.
Hart's second homer brought the Brewers within 8-6 with two outs in the ninth off Ryan Franklin. Ryan Braun walked to bring Prince Fielder to the plate as the tying run, but Franklin got him to ground out to end the game.
St. Louis starter Jake Westbrook pitched six innings, giving up two runs on five hits.
Gallardo had allowed 20 runs in 14 2-3 innings over his past three starts. The right-hander pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on four hits.
Notes: It was Molina's second career grand slam. His other came on opening day this year in an 11-6 win over Cincinnati. ... Jeffress pitched a scoreless inning during his major league debut last week in Cincinnati. ... For the second time in as many day games the Brewers hung two panels over a portion of right-field to diminish the effects of the daytime shadows at Miller Park. The roof was closed completely in the eighth as rain approached. ... It was the first run allowed by Braddock in his last 14 appearances, spanning 9 2-3 innings.
Last updated: 3:03 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012