Suppan took a shutout into the eighth inning, and Albert Pujols and Jim Edmonds hit consecutive home runs to help St. Louis avoid a three-game sweep with a 5-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.
Suppan (2-2) allowed just three hits in 7 2-3 innings, outpitching Ben Sheets to win his second start in a row.
“He gave us a clutch job,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. “Down 0-2, to pitch like that against a guy as good as Sheets, he was outstanding.”
The right-hander gave up only a solo shot to pinch-hitter Keith Ginter in the eighth.
Reggie Sanders added his seventh homer for St. Louis in the ninth.
Sheets (3-1) also went 7 2-3 innings, striking out seven. He was trying to become just the fourth Brewers pitcher to earn four wins in April.
But after striking out the first two batters of the game, Sheets gave up two straight homers on 2-2 pitches. Pujols’ shot, his seventh of the season, went to left. Edmonds’ fourth of the year went to right.
“You don’t see Ben give up many hits, let alone homers,” Edmonds said.
Sheets allowed only two homers in his previous 46 innings.
“I caught the middle of the plate, bottom line,” Sheets said. “The ball was up in the middle of the plate against two pretty good hitters.”
Pujols and Edmonds, a combined 3-for-20 in the previous three games, hit the Cardinals’ first home runs in four games. St. Louis scored just four runs in its previous three contests.
“He pitched great,” Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. “Two home runs in the first inning and then he shut them down until the eighth, throwing against real good hitters.”
Edgar Renteria got his 500th RBI with a sacrifice fly in the ninth, and Sanders hit a solo shot to make it 5-1.
Suppan did not allow a hit until a two-out double by Junior Spivey in the fourth. In the fifth, the bases were loaded with one out when Sheets grounded into a double play.
Suppan retired nine straight batters before Ginter connected with two outs in the eighth. Mike Lincoln got the final out of the inning.
“I was just working with what I had,” Suppan said. “I wasn’t always locating, but it seems like when it was a big situation, I was able to put the ball in a general area. I was just trying to keep everything down.”
Jason Isringhausen worked the ninth, allowing an RBI double to GeoffJenkins.
Sheets has not walked a batter in 24 2-3 innings. His 7 2-3 innings Sunday was a season high for a Milwaukee pitcher. … St. Louis has hit back-to-back homers four times this season. … Suppan’s seven career wins against Milwaukee are his most against any NL opponent. … Milwaukee purchased the contract of RHP Victor Santos from Triple-A Indianapolis and optioned RHP Chris Saenz back to Double-A Huntsville, one day after he beat St. Louis in his major league debut. … St. Louis ended its six-game NL Central road trip 3-3and will begin a seven-game homestand Tuesday.