for this game

Brewers take opener, extend lead over Cards

Aug 2, 2011 - 5:57 AM Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) - Nyjer Morgan's three-run double during a big fifth inning led the red-hot Brewers to a 6-2 victory over the Cardinals in the opener of a critical three-game series.

The double capped a five-run inning and was the decisive hit in Milwaukee's seventh consecutive victory.

The Brewers' winning streak has helped them establish a lead atop the National League Central, and Monday's victory further solidified their advantage. Milwaukee now leads St. Louis by 3 1/2 games.

"Real nice way to start," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of the series.

Zack Greinke (9-4) limited the Cardinals to two runs in six innings and recorded the victory.

The Cardinals got on the board in the first thanks to Matt Holliday, who drove a fastball over the right field fence for an opposite-field two-run homer.

But the Brewers surged in front in the fifth.

Singles by Yuniesky Betancourt and Casey McGehee put runners on the corners with nobody out, and Jonathan Lucroy plated a run by chopping a ball over third baseman David Freese. Greinke followed with a bunt that St. Louis failed to convert into an out, a mistake that left the bases loaded.

After Corey Hart lined an RBI single to center, Morgan drove a ball to the left-center gap to plate three more runs. The double made it a 5-2 game and elicited a fist-pumping celebration from Morgan at second base.

All of the runs were charged to Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter (6-8), who was pulled after the inning and absorbed his first loss since June 17.

"I'm not sure what happened in that inning," Carpenter said. "I got some balls up and had some tough luck. I made a good pitch to Nyjer, my stuff was good. I kept trying to get outs and keep the ball down."

Morgan singled and scored from first on Ryan Braun's double in the seventh, giving the Brewers their final run.

Game Notes

The Brewers are on their first seven-game winning streak since May 12-19, 2009...Greinke allowed seven hits, walked one and struck out five...Carpenter allowed seven hits, walked two and fanned six...Shortstop Rafael Furcal started his first game for the Cardinals after they acquired him from the Dodgers on Sunday. He went 1-for-4 and scored once...Cardinals center fielder Jon Jay had his 11-game hitting streak broken by going 0-for-4.