x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Carpenter and relievers edge out Brewers

Chris Carpenter got plenty of help from the St Louis bullpen as the Cardinals took a 2-1 lead in the National League Championship Series with a 4-3 win over Milwaukee.

ST LOUIS, Missouri // Chris Carpenter matched a franchise record set by Bob Gibson with a most un-Gibson-like outing.

Far from his best, the St Louis Cardinals' ace pitcher lasted just five innings in a 4-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday night that gave St Louis a 2-1 edge in the National League Championship Series.

Four relievers made the Cardinals' one-run lead stand up by retiring the last 12 Milwaukee batters in order.

"My stuff was OK, but these guys worked me hard," Carpenter said after winning his seventh post-season game to match the team record set by Gibson.

"All night long it was a battle. Our bullpen did a phenomenal job to finish it out and we win, and that's what's important."

Albert Pujols had one of three run-scoring doubles during a four-run first inning against Yovani Gallardo. That turned out to be enough, thanks to relievers Fernando Salas, Lance Lynn, Marc Rzepczynski and Jason Motte, who struck out three of the four batters he faced in the ninth inning for the save.

"They've been great - we wouldn't be here without them," Lance Berkman said. "Over the course of the regular season they got a lot of blame when things went wrong.

"Now, they need to get a lot of credit."

Yuniesky Betancourt's infield single with one out in the fourth was the last of the Brewers' six hits.

The Brewers have lost eight in a row on the road in the post-season, a stretch that extends to Game 1 of the 1982 World Series. It is the longest current streak in the majors.

"I still feel good with our club," said Ron Roenicke, the Milwaukee manager. "This is a good club we're playing and, you know, when you make mistakes like we did the first inning, they were going to get their hits."