Game Report: Cardinals 4, Brewers 1

A sore back kept Aledmys Diaz out of the Cardinals’ starting lineup on Saturday, but it didn’t keep him from coming up with a big blow off the bench.

Diaz hit his second career pinch-hit homer leading off the seventh inning to break a 1-1 tie and send the Cardinals to the win. It was his team-leading fourth homer of the season.

The Cardinals added two runs in the ninth as they defeated the Brewers for the second consecutive night.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: It looked as if it was going to be a frustrating offensive night for the Cardinals as they had leadoff doubles in each of the first three innings, two from Greg Garcia, but could not score … It was a one-out double in the fourth, by Randal Grichuk, that led to the first run as he later scored on a throwing error by Ryan Braun … Another throwing error on an RBI triple by Jedd Gyorko let him score the final run in the ninth … Yadier Molina and Grichuk both had three hits in the 12-hit attack.

On the mound: Lance Lynn got the win thanks to Diaz’s homer. He pitched six innings, allowing just three hits, two of which came in the first inning when the Brewers scored their only run. He allowed only two baserunners after the first on a single and a walk. He struck out seven … Matt Bowman pitched the seventh, Brett Cecil had to get out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth and Seung Hwan Oh pitched the ninth, earning his fourth save.

Key stat:
The Cardinals once had struggled with runners in scoring position, going 0-for-14 on the night. They are now 4-of-33 in the first three games of the series.

Worth noting: Diaz’s homer extended the Cardinals streak to 24 consecutive games with at least one home run at Miller Park … Dexter Fowler was out of the lineup for the first time this season as he rested a sore right heel. He is expected to play on Sunday … Garcia moved into the leadoff spot and had a pair of doubles in five at-bats.

Looking ahead: The four-game series will conclude with a day game on Sunday. Mike Leake will pitch against Jimmy Nelson.