Brewers 2, Cardinals 1

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MILWAUKEE (AP)—Craig Counsell thought his ninth-inning single Friday night was his first game-ending hit in the major leagues.

“It was a thrill, no question about it,” he said after his bases-loaded single lifted the Milwaukee Brewers over St. Louis 2-1 and sent the Cardinals to their first road loss this season.

“I’ve scored a couple of those runs, but I’ve never driven that one in,” said Counsell, who was mobbed by teammates at home plate.

Counsell, who had been 0-for-3 with a sacrifice, hit a tying ninth-inning sacrifice fly for Florida in Game 7 of the 1997 World Series, then scored the winning run against Cleveland on Edgar Renteria’s 11th-inning single.

He also played a part of Arizona’s Game 7 win over the New York Yankees in the 2001 Series, when he was hit by a pitch, loading the bases ahead of Luis Gonzalez’s game-winning hit in the ninth off Mariano Rivera.

Milwaukee’s winning rally began when pinch-hitter Brady Clark, who had been 0-for-7 in Thursday’s 15-inning loss to Arizona, walked with one out in the ninth against Steve Kline (0-1).

Gary Bennett hit into a forceout and advanced on a single by Wes Helms, who was hitting for Brooks Kieschnick (1-0).

Trent Durrington pinch ran for Bennett. Kline advanced the runners with a wild pitch, and Scott Posednik walked. Counsell then singled sharply up the middle on a 2-1 pitch.

The Cardinals’ 6-0 road start was their best since winning 12 straight road games at the start of the 1941 season.

Milwaukee is 4-1 against St. Louis, a year after going 3-13 against the Cardinals. Albert Pujols, Jim Edmonds and Scott Rolen were a combined 1-for-11 with four strikeouts.

Brooks Kieschnick, who hit a tying two-run homer in the ninth Thursday, pitched 2 2-3 hitless innings in relief of Matt Kinney, completing a six-hitter.

“To be honest, Brooks Kieschnick is the hero of that game,” Kinney said. “He came in and shut them down. He picked me up in a big situation, shut them down and gave us a chance to win.”

Kinney got his second no-decision against the Cardinals this season. He had his longest outing since last Aug. 25, when he went seven innings in a 10-6 victory at Cincinnati.

“He had a presence on the mound today,” Counsell said. “That was a different guy than we’ve seen.”

The Brewers were counting on Kinney going deep following the 11-9 extra-inning loss to Arizona.

“It’s a character game,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said. “This is a game that really shows what you’re made of.”

Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter, who missed last season while recovering from right shoulder surgery, didn’t allow a runner to get past second after Posednik scored on an RBI double by Junior Spivey in the first.

“My arm felt great,” Carpenter said. “The first couple of innings I was up a little bit, but then I settled down.”

Carpenter struck out five in six innings, giving up five hits.

“Pitching on both sides responded,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. “Tough day for hitters.”

St. Louis, which had a league-leading .299 average coming in, tied the scorein the third on Marlon Anderson’s sacrifice fly.

Notes

The previous time Carpenter faced the Brewers was July 29, 1997, while with Toronto. His single in the third was the third of his career and first in the NL. … Brewers SS Bill Hall took four stitches in his right leg after getting spiked during Thursday’s game. … Tony Womack, who missed the Cardinals’ previous two games with a mild left triceps strain., pinch hit in the sixth. … The Brewers recalled RHP Chris Saenz from Double-A Huntsvilleand placed LHP Chris Capuano on the 15-day DL with a strained left quadriceps.

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