- Associated Press - Sunday, August 3, 2014

ST. LOUIS (AP) - For six innings, Matt Garza was in top form. Then he tweaked a left oblique and it all fell apart for the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Brewers’ bullpen quickly surrendered a two-run lead that had once seemed so secure in a 3-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday.

“It was bad enough where I had to take myself out of the game and I don’t do that,” Garza said. “There’s too much left in the season and I thought I’d make the smart play.”

Manager Ron Roenicke said Garza will be examined on Monday after feeling his side grab on one of his final pitches.

“He couldn’t keep going,” Roenicke said. “Great game, great fastball. He had a lot working.”

Garza said he had a similar injury last spring.

“I hadn’t even thought of it and it just happened, and you try and think of what you did,” Garza said. “It felt like a muscle grab, and it was one of those, and son of a gun.”

John Lackey won his St. Louis debut when the Cardinals rallied for three runs in the seventh inning, capped by a go-ahead from rookie Oscar Taveras.

The Cardinals took two of three from NL Central-leading Milwaukee and pulled within one game of the division lead.

“We played a good ballgame,” Roenicke said. “Got a couple of runs of Lackey and put up some zeroes and you feel pretty good about the game.

“It didn’t work out.”

Lackey (1-0) was the Cardinals’ big catch at the trade deadline that capitalized on Boston’s sell-off. The right-hander won the clinching Game 6 of the World Series against St. Louis last fall allowed two runs and seven hits in seven innings and is 12-7 overall.

Trevor Rosenthal struck out Carlos Gomez with two on for his major league-leading 34th save in 38 chances.

Matt Holliday homered off Zach Duke with one out in the seventh. Recently acquired A.J. Pierzynski hit a tying single off Jeremy Jeffress (0-1) and Taveras singled up the middle.

Aramis Ramirez had an RBI single in the first for Milwaukee, his seventh hit of the series, and Mark Reynolds hit his 19th homer in the second.

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