MILWAUKEE -- — Cardinals closer Giovanny Gallegos fanned pinch-hitter Pablo Reyes with the bases loaded for the final out and St. Louis won its 10th straight game, increasing its lead in the playoff chase by holding off the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers 2-1 Tuesday night.
The Cardinals increased their edge for the second NL wild-card spot to four games over Cincinnati. Philadelphia remained 4 1/2 behind St. Louis while San Diego fell five back.
Milwaukee, which has secured a playoff spot, lost its third straight. The Brewers, whose magic number to clinch the NL Central stayed at three, lead the Cardinals by 9 ½ games.
Jake Woodford (3-3) and four relievers combined on a four-hitter as the Cardinals moved closer to the longest winning streak in franchise history, 14 games set in 1935. In their 130-year history, the Cardinals have only had 12 double-digit winning streaks.
“It’s hard to capture, because I don’t plan on being done with it. We keep moving to tomorrow,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said “Regardless of the time of year you do that, it’s important – this time of year clearly more magnified.”
“Even when he’s not as sharp, he’s still going to figure out a way to compete and you can live with that,” Shildt said. “That’s what he did tonight.”
The Brewers are 2-5 in their last seven games, scoring a total of eight runs in the five losses.
“We’ve just had a quiet week,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “I think we’re going to have a big night one of these nights. We’re going to put a really big number on the board and we’re going to bust out of it. We didn’t do it tonight, but it’s coming. I believe that, I think our guys believe that.”
St. Louis scored a run in the first without a hit off Brandon Woodruff (9-10) and added a run in the eighth on Tommy Edman’s RBI single.
“You try and stay in the moment and not make it bigger than it is,” Woodford said. “It’s still a normal start and try and treat it that way. But, yeah, we do know every win is big at this point in the year.”
After the first-inning run, Woodruff allowed a pair of third-inning singles in six innings, striking out 10 and walking two.
Edman generated a run for the Cardinals in the first. He worked a nine-pitch walk to lead off, stole second, took third on a groundout and scored on Tyler O’Neill’s sacrifice fly.
The Cardinals made it 2-0 in the eighth when pinch-hitter Lars Nootbaar walked with one out, stole second and scored on Edman’s second hit of the game.
’It’s impressive,” Adames said of the Cardinals' surge. “They know they have to continue to win to get to the postseason. They’ve been playing really good ball. They’re doing the little things and I think that’s why they’ve been so good right now. You’ve to give credit to them.”
Cardinals: RHP Jack Flaherty, on the 10-day IL since Aug. 25 with a right shoulder strain, threw about 15 pitches to teammates in a simulated game. “He looked like Jack. So we’ll see how he recovers and we’ll evaluate what the next step is,” Shildt said.
Brewers: LHP Brett Anderson, on the IL since Sept. 2 after being struck in the pitching shoulder by a line drive, is scheduled to be activated and start Wednesday’s game against St. Louis. … Cain was not in the starting lineup for the third consecutive game. Cain came out of Saturday’s game with a sore groin after crashing into the wall on a sensational catch. Cain pinch-hit in the seventh and remained in center field.
OF Tyrone Taylor was reinstated from the 10-day injured list. RHP Miguel Sanchez was optioned to Triple-A Nashville.
Cardinals: RHP Miles Mikolas (1-2, 4.50) starts the third game of the series on Wednesday. Mikolas allowed three hits in 5 2/3 scoreless innings in his last start for his first victory since 2019.
Brewers: LHP Brett Anderson (4-8, 4.18) is scheduled to come off the IL for his first start since Sept. 1. Counsell said Anderson was likely to make a short start, followed by the bullpen.
MLB playoffs 2021: Los Angeles Dodgers' Walker Buehler won't shy away from Game 6 pressure
Ahead of a crucial Game 6 showdown, L.A.'s young ace explains why nervousness helps, walks are better than hits, and the key to postseason success is a long drive and a good song.
Atlanta looks to clinch pennant with victory over Los Angeles
Los Angeles Dodgers (106-56, second in the NL West) vs. Atlanta Braves (88-73, first in the NL East)
MLB playoffs 2021 - Love them or hate them, the Houston Astros are really this good
No matter how much some despise Houston for its sign-stealing transgressions, there's no denying what this team is accomplishing now.
2021 MLB playoffs: Yordan Alvarez's MVP performance propels Houston Astros to World Series
The Houston Astros designated hitter broke out big, almost single-handedly leading the Astros to the American League pennant.
Alvarez: Astros showing we are the best team in the league
Yordan Alvarez discusses the Astros advancing to the World Series and how much they proved in beating the Red Sox.
MLB playoffs 2021: Houston Astros timeline from sign-stealing scandal to another World Series
In their third World Series in five seasons, the Astros are again playing for a title in the wake of their sign-stealing scandal and investigation.