Series: Game 2 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 8/5)

Game 1: Friday, August 4
St. Louis3
Game 2: Saturday, August 5
St. Louis4
Game 3: Sunday, August 6
St. Louis7

Brewers 3

(52-58, 20-35 away)

Cardinals 4

(59-50, 32-23 home)

    7:15 PM ET, August 5, 2006

    Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri 

    123456789 R H E
    MIL 000300000 3 7 0
    STL 10300000 - 4 6 0

    W: A. Reyes (3-5)

    L: B. Sheets (2-4)

    S: J. Isringhausen (29)

    Eight is enough: Cards finally end skid vs. Brewers

    ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Tony La Russa was in the dugout cursing the baseball gods when Prince Fielder hit a ball off the end of his bat with the bases loaded that appeared certain to fall.

    Elias Says

    Albert Pujols ended a 33-at-bat home-run drought with a two-run shot off the Brewers' Geremi Gonzalez on Saturday. It was the longest stretch of homerless at-bats for Pujols this season. His only other home run drought of a least 30 at-bats this year was from June 24 to July 2 (31 ABs).

    • For more Elias Says, Click here.

    The St. Louis Cardinals led by a run in the sixth inning, and their manager dreaded more adversity for a team trying to end its second eight-game losing streak of the season. Somehow center fielder Jim Edmonds swooped in, gloving the ball just before it hit the grass, saving a lead and helping the team end the slide with a 4-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday night.

    "That play Jim Edmonds made is as good of a play as he's made since he's been here," La Russa said. "That ball falls, they've got the lead. The ball gets by him, they've got the lead maybe by two.

    "I still don't know how he got there."

    Scott Rolen's RBI double in the first gave the Cardinals their first lead in six games and Albert Pujols' 34th home run, his first homer since July 25, was a two-run shot in the third. Ronnie Belliard added an RBI single in the third for a 4-0 lead, and the bullpen worked four scoreless innings with Jason Isringhausen getting the last three outs for his 29th save.

    When shortstop David Eckstein squeezed Kevin Mench's popup to end the game, the relieved home crowd gave the Cardinals a standing ovation. For the first time in a long while, loud music blared in the clubhouse.

    "This is kind of new," starter Anthony Reyes said. "It's real nice. I like it. It's kind of like a little weight lifted off our shoulders."

    Brewers pitcher Ben Sheets left after one inning because of tightness in a pectoral muscle. Sheets (2-4) has been limited to seven starts this season due to injuries and said he wasn't hurt on a particular pitch.

    Sheets said the feeling reminded him of cramping that led to a torn back muscle that ended his season last August.

    "It wasn't too bad throwing as much as in between pitches it felt like a cramp in there," Sheets said. "It kind of became eerily similar to last year's cramp that I tried to go through and we all know the rest of that story."

    Geoff Jenkins hit a two-run homer for the Brewers, his 10th of the year and first since July 16. Jenkins entered the game in a 3-for-30 slump.

    The Cardinals were outscored 54-29 in the slump, during which they were swept by the sub-.500 Cubs and Phillies. According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Cardinals are the first team in major league history with two eight-game losing streaks in one season while remaining in first place throughout.

    They also dropped eight in a row from June 20-27, when a 5½-game lead in the NL Central was whittled down to 1½. They had a 5½-game lead when the latest skid began and now lead by 2½.

    The Cardinals, coming off consecutive 100-win seasons, hadn't had a pair of losing streaks that lasted eight or more games since 1983, when they dropped eight straight twice. That was the year after the team's last World Series championship.

    The Brewers totaled two hits against four relievers, threatening when they loaded the bases in the sixth. But Edmonds' tumbling catch against Fielder ended the inning and bailed out reliever Tyler Johnson.

    "It's just one of those plays that really pumps you up," reliever Johnson said. "It was awesome. I'm going to kiss the floor when he walks on it."

    Fielder said it was just Edmonds being Edmonds.

    "I knew he had a chance because he does that all the time," Fielder said. "I was just hoping he didn't catch mine."

    The Cardinals took their first lead since the first inning of a 4-2 loss to the Cubs on July 29, Game 3 of the losing streak, with a two-out rally in the first. Pujols singled, stole second and scored on Rolen's double off the left-field wall.

    Geremi Gonzalez relieved Sheets and struck out the side on 12 pitches in the second but the Cardinals scored three more in the third on Pujols' homer and Belliard's RBI single for a 4-0 lead.

    Reyes (3-5) held the Brewers hitless until Bill Hall singled with one out in the fourth, but most of the lead then quickly evaporated. Jenkins followed with a homer and pinch-hitter Brady Clark singled in a run.

    Game notes

    Brewers coaches Robin Yount, Mike Maddux and Dale Sveum attended the St. Louis Rams' scrimmage Saturday morning, and spent several minutes chatting with QB Marc Bulger after the first string was finished. ... Brewers SS Hall robbed Rolen of a hit with a running catch in shallow left to end the seventh. ... Milwaukee is 20-35 on the road, second-worst in the majors. ... Mark Mulder, whose 29th birthday was Saturday, begins a rehab assignment from a shoulder injury on Sunday for Class A Quad Cities.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press