MILWAUKEE - The St. Louis Cardinals scored six runs in the third inning, then held on to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-5 at Miller Park Thursday night.
The Cardinals hit Brewers starter Wily Peralta for 11 hits and six runs in four and a third innings of work.
St. Louis got a two-run single from Allen Craig, an RBI single from Yadier Molina, and another two-run single from Pete Kozma for a 6-nothing lead.
But the Brewers battled back.
In the fourth, Martin Maldonado drove in Rickie Weeks with the first Brewers run.
In the seventh, a Jean Segura sacrifice fly and a Carlos Gomez walk with the bases loaded made it 6-3.
Ryan Braun singled in another run in the eighth and Alex Gonzalez had a run-scoring single in the ninth to make it 6-5.
But pinch-hitter Jonathan Lucroy struck out to end the game and the Cardinals took the first game of the four-game weekend series.
Jake Westbrook (2-1) got the win for the Cardinals. Edward Mujica picked up his seventh save.
Peralta (2-2) took the loss for the Brewers who are now 14-13 on the season, two and a half games behind St. Louis in the N.L. Central Division.