ST. LOUIS (AP) – The bumbling Milwaukee Brewers made four errors that led to three unearned runs, helping St. Louis to a 7-1 win Friday that gave the Cardinals a 3-2 lead in the National League Championship Series, moving one win away from a World Series berth.
Yadier Molina and Matt Holliday had three hits each for St. Louis, which burst to a 3-0 lead in the second when Molina doubled in a run and Brewers third baseman Jerry Hairston Jr. allowed Jaime Garcia’s grounder to go through his legs.
Holliday capped the scoring with a two-run single in the eighth.
Milwaukee second baseman Rickie Weeks and shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt also committed errors along with relief pitcher Marco Estrada. Weeks had committed the Brewers’ only two errors in the first four games of the series.
St. Louis can wrap up the best-of- seven series and its 18th NL pennant on Sunday in Milwaukee.
Edwin Jackson will start for the Cardinals against Shaun Marcum in a rematch of Game 2.
The NL winner hosts the World Series opener against Detroit or Texas on Wednesday.
Milwaukee had not made more than three errors in a game during the regular season, but the Brewers’ sloppiness reached a near-record level. Milwaukee was one shy of the League Championship Series record for errors in a game, shared by the 1974 Los Angeles Dodgers and 1976 New York Yankees, according to STATS LLC.
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa had a quick hook on a faltering pitcher once again.
Garcia opened with four scoreless innings, then allowed three hits and a sacrifice in a span of four at-bats in the fifth. With two and on and two outs, Octavio Dotel relieved and struck out Ryan Braun.
Dotel struck out two in 1 1-3 hitless innings, combining with three other relievers for 4 1-3 innings of scoreless, two-hit relief.
Jason Motte got four outs for his second save of the series, leaving Cardinals relievers with a 1.66 ERA over 22 2-3 innings of the series.
By contrast, St. Louis’ starters have a 6.04 ERA.
Milwaukee starter Zack Greinke left pitches over the plate in some key spots and allowed five runs – just two earned – and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings with no strikeouts and two walks.