The Cardinals moved within one game of their 18th World Series Friday, rebounding to beat the Brewers 7-1 at Busch Stadium.
Starting pitcher Jaime Garcia pitched well -- but couldn't make it through five innings as manager Tony La Russa once again used a quick hook. But not until after Garcia was able to knock in three runs at the plate.
Lance Berkman started the scoring with a leadoff single in the second inning and David Freese moved him to second base when he was hit by a pitch. Yadier Molina doubled off the right field wall -- and just beyond the reach of Brewers outfielder Corey Hart to plate Berkman. With a pair of runners in scoring position, second baseman Nick Punto lined out to third baseman Jerry Hairston.
But Hairston's time as the hero was short. Garcia came to the plate with two out and hit a ball right through Hairston for a two-run error to make the game 3-0.
In the fourth Garcia hit a ball to short with men on second and third with one out to drive in another run to make the score 4-0.
Garcia retired Carlos Gomez to start the fifth inning but gave up a single to Jonathan Lucroy and after Brewers pitcher Zack Greinke sacrificed Corey Hart singled in a run to cut the Cardinals lead to 4-1. Jerry Hairston singled to bring the tying run to the plate and La Russa had seen enough. He brought in Octavio Dotel from the bullpen to face Ryan Braun and the St. Louis reliever struck out Braun to end the threat.
The Birds added a run in the sixth and two in the eighth to put the game away. The only other threat came in the top of the eighth when Hart singled to lead off and Hairston walked. Lance Lynn got Ryan Braun to ground into a fielder's choice that was nearly a rally killing double play. But the inning stayed alive and Prince Fielder came to the plate with a chance to cut the St. Louis lead to one run. Marc Rzepczynski came in and struck out fielder -- for the fourt time in a row -- and then Jason Motte came in to get the last out of the eigth and three quick ones in the ninth.