The Cardinals took a three-run lead into the fifth before Garcia allowed a leadoff single to Corey Hart and a double to Jerry Hairston Jr. The Brewers celebrated wildly as the big hits came during a rapid-fire fifth inning rally when Braun hit a two-run, ground-rule double to right and with the crowd still cheering, Fielder hit the first pitch from Garcia deep to right for a two-run homer, giving the Brewers the lead.
The Brewers made it tough on Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia, who left after giving up Fielder’s homer. Garcia, who hit Fielder with a pitch earlier in the game, gave up six runs and six hits in four-plus innings with three walks.
Greinke struggled at times, but reliever Takashi Saito got Cardinals star Albert Pujols to ground into a key double play in the seventh. Francisco Rodriguez pitched a hitless eighth and closer John Axford threw a hitless ninth for a save.
The Brewers and Cardinals split an 18-game series evenly this season, a sign of what has been one of baseball’s most intense rivalries in recent years. The Cardinals’ success against the Brewers in the final month of the season was one of the main reasons they climbed back into playoff contention.
Game 2 is at Miller Park 7:05 p.m. (CST) on Monday night. Shaun Marcum starts for the Brewers against Edwin Jackson