ST. LOUIS — Khris Davis broke a 3-3 tie with a run-scoring triple in the 12th inning and Mark Reynolds followed with a sacrifice fly Monday as Milwaukee defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 5-3.
It was the 15th time in 27 games that the Cardinals (14-13) have scored three runs or less. First-place Milwaukee (19-7), which trailed 3-0 until the seventh, increased its lead over the Cardinals in the National League Central to 5 1/2 games.
Jonathan Lucroy led off the 12th with a double into the left-field corner against Seth Maness (0-2), the Cardinals' sixth pitcher. Martin Maldonado grounded out to second as Lucroy took third.
Maness had two strikes on Davis, who already had struck out four times. But Davis flicked the tie-breaking triple into the right-field corner, and Reynolds' sacrifice fly to center was plenty deep enough to score Davis and give the Brewers a two-run lead.
Zach Duke (2-0) pitched a scoreless 10th and 11th for Milwaukee. Closer Francisco Rodriguez worked the 12th for his 12th save.
Matt Holliday led off the 10th with a double against Duke, but he was retired between second and third on a poor sacrifice attempt by pinch-hitter Peter Bourjos. One out later, Allen Craig walked. But Jhonny Peralta flied out to center.
St. Louis had runners at first and second with two outs in the ninth, but Peralta again flied out to center to end the game.
"It's one of the toughest (losses) we've had this year, for sure," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "It's not very often we get a three-run lead here recently. To not be able to hang onto it and having a couple of other (scoring) chances, it's tough."
The Cardinals led 3-0 until the seventh when the Brewers scored three runs against Michael Wacha.
With one out in the seventh, Wacha walked Jeff Bianchi, then allowed consecutive singles to Elian Herrera, pinch-hitter Lyle Overbay, Carlos Gomez and Scooter Gennett. Overbay's and Gennett's hits drove in runs to trim the Cardinals' lead to 3-2.
Pat Neshek relieved with the bases loaded and struck out Jonathan Lucroy, but he hit Aramis Ramirez with a pitch to force in Overbay with the tying run. Davis flied out to end the inning.
Holliday and Craig each hit their second home runs of the season in the sixth, against Milwaukee starter Yovani Gallardo, to give the Cardinals a 3-0 lead. Holliday had three hits and is 8-for-16 in the first four games of the homestand.
Holliday had an RBI single in the first against Gallardo to put the Cardinals ahead 1-0. His home run to right-center on a 1-0 pitch from in the sixth soared 409 feet and made it 2-0. Holliday has at least one RBI in four consecutive games and leads the Cardinals with 16.
Two batters later, Craig walloped a 2-0 pitch and sent it flying 411 feet into the bleachers in left-center, making it 3-0.
Matt Carpenter opened the St. Louis first with a double to left-center --his second in two games and third of the season after he collected 55 last year.
Carpenter moved to third on Jon Jay's long fly to center, and Holliday then lined a pitch off the glove of first baseman Reynolds as Carpenter scored.
Gallardo entered the game with a 1-11 record and 6.46 ERA in 17 career assignments against St. Louis. He left after six innings and got a no-decision, allowing three runs (earned) on seven hits, with one walk and two strikeouts.
Wacha stymied the Brewers on four hits through six innings and registered eight strikeouts. He left after 6 1/3 innings, surrendering three runs (earned) on eight hits, with two walks and nine strikeouts.
Wacha benefited from double plays in the third against Gomez and in the fourth against Lucroy. He pitched out of a first-and-second, no-out pinch in the sixth, an inning in which he hit two batters. He struck out Davis with the bases loaded to end the Brewers' most quality scoring opportunity.
After Holliday's single in the first, Gallardo retired 10 in a row, a streak that ended when Yadier Molina singled sharply to center. Craig then reached on an infield hit before Peralta tapped out to third.
Gallardo threw a scoreless fifth thanks to a sensational play by shortstop Bianchi.
With Carpenter on first with a two-out walk, Jay hit a grounder up the middle. Bianchi dived to his left, then made a backhand flip to second baseman Gennett to force the tumbling Carpenter.
Neither outfielder Randal Grichuk nor infielder Greg Garcia were in the Cardinals lineup. They were promoted from Class AAA Memphis earlier Monday.
Garcia, however, walked as a pinch-hitter in the seventh against Tyler Thornburg. Grichuk came into the game in right field and batted with runners at first and second and one out in the ninth, but his bid for a game-ending single to short left was run down by Bianchi. Grichuk struck out in the 11th.