- Associated Press - Saturday, July 2, 2016

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A much-maligned St. Louis Cardinals defense stepped up, and Adam Wainwright kept them busy.

Wainwright pitched seven innings, Kolten Wong had a two-run triple and St. Louis turned four double plays in a 3-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday.

“We played great,” Wainwright said. “Our guys made the plays when they needed to and swung the bats when they needed to.”

The Cardinals lead the majors with 64 errors. But they played a clean game against the Brewers, including double plays in the fourth, fifth and sixth for Wainwright.

Jonathan Broxton got three outs and Seung Hwan Oh, a longtime closer in Japan and Korea, finished the seven-hitter for his first career save. Manager Mike Matheny removed Trevor Rosenthal from the closer role about a week ago.

“Whether it’s a young guy coming in or a more experienced pitcher, it’s nice to have a little more of a cushion,” Matheny said.

St. Louis improved to 6-2 against Milwaukee and goes for a three-game series sweep on Sunday.

Milwaukee is 13-25 on the road and has lost 27 of its last 40 against the Cardinals. The Brewers have been shut out five times this season, three times by St. Louis.

“I don’t know if I can speak for everybody but I know I’m frustrated with every loss,” Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson said. “I don’t care if it’s against a Pee Wee team or against the best team in the world.”

Wong made his first start at second base since June 4, replacing Matt Carpenter when the two-time All-Star took the day off to attend to a death in the family. Wong had been playing the outfield since being recalled from the minors and Matheny said that’s where he’ll be when Carpenter returns.

“I definitely see second base as my position and I know I’ll be back there soon,” Wong said. “It’s just now how this team is rolling I’m just trying to get in the lineup wherever I can.”

Wong’s drive eluded right fielder Ramon Flores’ bid for a diving catch in the third. Greg Garcia followed with a bunt hit on the squeeze on Nelson (5-7).

Wong has nine RBIs on the year in 165 at-bats.

“I haven’t been driving the ball at all this year, so it’s been tough,” Wong said. “I love the feeling of driving in runs and driving the ball.”

The Brewers had a hit every inning against Wainwright (7-5), but had two runners just once in the fifth. Wainwright lowered his ERA to 4.70, shaking off a rough outing in which he surrendered six runs in five innings at Kansas City.

Wainwright made his first appearance against Milwaukee since April 25, 2015, when he ruptured his left Achilles.

Nelson allowed two earned runs in six innings. He is 0-6 in seven games, all but one of them starts, against the Cardinals.

Nelson, Marco Estrada and Jordan Zimmermann are the only active pitchers with five career decisions against St. Louis and zero wins.

“I mean, that’s in the past,” Nelson said. “This is the first time I’ve thrown against them this year. I’m different than I was last year.”

The start was delayed 92 minutes by rain.

BIG D

Cardinals center fielder Tommy Pham made a nice catch on Chris Carter’s drive to the warning track in the sixth.

MILESTONES MADE

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina got a standing ovation for his 1,500th hit, a single in the fourth. Wainwright has 128 career victories, tied for seventh on the franchise list with Harry Brecheen (1940-52).

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: RF Stephen Piscotty (left ankle) returned after missing two games.

UP NEXT

Brewers: Chase Anderson (4-8, 5.45 ERA) gets the ball in the series finale on Sunday. He gave up five earned runs in four innings his last time out.

Cardinals: Michael Wacha (4-7, 4.42 ERA) has won two straight starts and is 3-0 with a 4.42 ERA for his career against Milwaukee. This year, he is just 1-4 with a 4.82 ERA at home.

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