By STEVE MEGARGEE, AP Sports Writer
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Corbin Burnes pitched seven dominant innings, Tyrone Taylor hit a two-run homer and the Milwaukee Brewers regained sole possession of first place in the NL Central with a 2-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night.
The Brewers and Cardinals were tied for the division lead as they began this four-game series. The Brewers have followed up an eight-game skid by winning six of their last eight.
Burnes (5-4) struck out 10 and allowed just two hits and two walks. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner’s performance was remarkably similar to his May 29 outing in an 8-0 victory at St. Louis.
In two starts against the Cardinals this season, Burnes has struck out 21 in 14 scoreless innings while allowing only four hits and three walks. The only two hits he allowed in this win came from Juan Yepez, who had a two-out double in the second inning and a two-out single in the seventh.
Devin Williams retired the side in order in the eighth and Josh Hader worked the ninth for his 20th save in 21 opportunities. Hader had been reinstated earlier in the day after being with his family last week while his wife gave birth to their son, Lucas Alexander Hader.
The Cardinals finished with three hits.
Brendan Donovan beat out an infield single to start the ninth but was thrown out attempting to reach second on a pitch that got away. Hader then retired Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado to end the game.
Burnes needed to be on top of his game to outduel St. Louis’ Miles Mikolas, who had come one strike away from a no-hitter last Tuesday before allowing a double to Cal Mitchell with two outs in the ninth inning of a 9-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The game was scoreless through 4 ½ innings with each team having only one hit before the Brewers broke through in the bottom of the fifth.
After Keston Hiura singled with one out, Taylor hit a 2-2 sinker from Mikolas over the center-field wall. Taylor’s seventh homer of the season traveled an estimated 416 feet.
Mikolas (5-5) lasted 6 1/3 innings and allowed just those two runs plus four hits. He struck out three and walked two.
But he didn’t get any run support.
The Cardinals’ best chance came in the second inning when they had runners on first and second before Burnes ended the threat by striking out Harrison Bader. Andrew Knizner drew a leadoff walk in the sixth but was stranded at second.
Cardinals: OF Tyler O’Neill went on the injured list after straining his left hamstring while running the bases on a ninth-inning double Sunday in a 6-4 loss at Boston. “Something kind of grabbed on me a little bit rounding first base,” O’Neill said. The Cardinals recalled OF Lars Nootbaar from Triple-A Memphis. … General manager Michael Girsch indicated that Jordan Hicks will be preparing for a relief role during the right-hander’s rehabilitation assignment. Hicks entered the season with 112 career appearances – all in relief – but has started in seven of his nine outings this season and is 1-4 with a 5.02 ERA.
Brewers: LHP Aaron Ashby went on the injured list retroactive to Friday with left forearm inflammation. Ashby had been scheduled to start Tuesday’s game. Ashby said before Monday’s game that he was struggling to throw his slider during his bullpen session Sunday. … RHP Brandon Woodruff is scheduled to make a rehabilitation appearance Thursday for the Brewers’ Single-A affiliate in Appleton, Wisconsin. Woodruff went on the injured list three weeks ago with an ankle injury but has since been dealing with Raynaud’s syndrome, which causes decreased blood flow to the fingers.
This four-game series continues Tuesday as RHP Jack Flaherty (0-0, 6.00 ERA) starts for the Cardinals. The Brewers haven’t announced a starting pitcher for Tuesday’s game since putting Ashby on the injured list.
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