ST. LOUIS — Jordan Lyles has more than repaid the Milwaukee Brewers for giving him a chance to pitch in a playoff race.
The right-hander threw six strong innings and the Brewers received two-run home runs from Mike Moustakas and Yasmani Grandal en route to a 5-2 victory against the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday night.
Lyles improved to 6-1 in his nine starts since being acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates in late July. Milwaukee improved to 8-1 in games started by Lyles and won for the eighth time in nine games to pull within four games of the first-place Cardinals in the NL Central. Milwaukee remained one game behind the Chicago Cubs for the second NL wild card.
“Jordan giving us six (innings) tonight really lined up the bullpen and they all did a really nice job,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. “He was throwing the ball so well and just controlling the game — just executing his pitches (and getting) a lot of lazy fly balls.”
Only one of the two runs Lyles allowed was earned. He gave up six hits and struck out four over six innings.
"The curveball wasn't doing anything special today," Lyles said. "We had to use all four pitches and (Grandal) did a nice job of noticing that and he kept putting down the right numbers."
Jay Jackson, Drew Pomeranz, and Junior Guerra combined for a scoreless seventh and eighth inning. Josh Hader earned his 32nd save in 38 opportunities.
Moustakas’ two-run home run in the fourth inning tied the game 2-2, snapping a 22-inning scoreless streak by Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty. It also broke a 32-inning scoreless streak for Cardinals starters at home spanning six games.
“Mike with the homer right there to tie the game and get us going was huge,” Grandal said.
Grandal walked and scored on a fielder’s choice groundout by Eric Thames to give the Brewers a 3-2 lead in the sixth.
Grandal drove a Tyler Webb changeup 424 feet into the left-center field seats in the eighth to make it 5-2. Grandal’s 27th home run of the year tied his career high and his 73 RBIs is a career high.
Flaherty (10-8) needed 102 pitches to get through six innings. He gave up three runs on five hits and a pair of walks as St. Louis had its two-game winning streak snapped.
Flaherty matched a season-high 10 strikeouts and became the first Cardinals pitcher with more than 200 strikeouts in a season since Carlos Martínez (217 in 2017). Flaherty is the 19th different pitcher to reach 200 strikeouts this season which is the most in the Modern Era.
Tommy Edman’s solo homer started a two-run Cardinals rally in the second. Harrison Bader followed with a single, moved to second on a Flaherty sacrifice and scored on a Yasmani Grandal throwing error while he was stealing third.
Brewers second baseman Keston Hiura made his first appearance since Aug. 30, when he left with a strained left hamstring. Hiura struck out in a pinch hitting appearance in the ninth.
Milwaukee right-hander Brandon Woodruff (left oblique strain) threw a 25-pitch bullpen in what the team hopes is a final tuneup before being activated from the Injured List. ... The Brewers’ Manny Piña (concussion) is expected to resume catching activities soon.
Brewers right-hander Chase Anderson (6-4, 4.57 ERA) gets the start in the finale of the three-game series. He is 1-1 with a 2.67 ERA in six career starts at Busch Stadium.
The Cardinals will counter with right-hander Michael Wacha (6-7, 4.97 ERA), who is seeking his first win since July 19. He was held the Brewers to two or less runs in each of his last five starts against them.