- Associated Press - Sunday, September 7, 2014

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Ron Roenicke insists his team still can make a run to get into the playoffs despite falling apart the past two weeks.

It won’t happen if they continue to play the way they did Saturday night against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Matt Adams and Oscar Taveras homered and the Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-3 to open a four-game lead in the NL Central.

The loss was the 10th in 11 games for Milwaukee and dropped them into a tie with the Atlanta Braves for the final NL Wild Card spot.

Brewers right-hander Kyle Lohse (12-9) struggled again. He lasted just four innings against the Cardinals, allowing five runs and four hits with two walks.



Lohse struck out five and walked two while falling to 1-4 with a 7.01 ERA in his last six starts.

“I just haven’t pitched the way I normally do,” Lohse said. “I pitch off my fastball and mix in the other stuff. And I haven’t been able to locate as well.”

The first priority for Milwaukee over its final 20 games is to get the starting rotation pitching well, Roenicke said. During their 1-10 slump, Brewers starters have a 6.59 ERA.

“We wouldn’t be in position to where we have a chance if it wasn’t for those five starters,” he said. “They did a fantastic job for most of the season and that’s why we are playing where we are playing. We need them to get back to what they were doing and hopefully finish strong here.”

Six of Milwaukee’s seven hits were doubles, but the team went 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position. The team has averaged only 2.5 runs per game in last 11 games.

Lance Lynn (15-8) pitched six effective innings, allowing an earned run and five hits while improving to 4-0 with a 2.45 ERA in his last six starts. He struck out six and walked four and has won at least 15 games in three consecutive seasons.

St. Louis finished with just four hits and made three errors in the first inning, leading to a pair of unearned runs.

Adams booted a leadoff grounder to first, allowing Scooter Gennett to reach. Left fielder Matt Holliday made two errors on one play, with Gennett scoring on Braun’s single and Gerardo Parra coming home on the fielding trouble.

“When you look up and you threw five or six pitches and there’s three errors on the board and there’s two runs, that’s not exactly what you game planned for to start the game,” he said. “That’s all that happened and we ended up winning, so it was a good night for us.”

St. Louis won for the seventh time in its last eight games. Trevor Rosenthal got three outs for his 43rd save in 48 chances.

Since starting the season 20-8, the Brewers are 54-60. Six of their seven hits Saturday night were doubles, but Milwaukee went 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position.

CARDS WIN REPLAY CHALLENGE

Ryan Braun tried to score on a sacrifice fly in the first inning and was called safe by Jerry Meals on a close play. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny challenged the call and it was ruled a double play with replays showing catcher Yadier Molina putting the tag on Braun.

MILESTONE HIT FOR WEEKS

Rickie Weeks doubled with two outs in the ninth for his 1,000th career hit making him the 12th player in Brewers history to reach that milestone with the franchise.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: Adams was slow to get up after diving for a foul ball in the fourth inning, but nodded to the Cardinals’ dugout that he was OK and stayed in the game.

Brewers: OF Carlos Gomez (left wrist sprain) could return to the starting lineup as soon as Monday, but the Brewers will monitor him closely before deciding, Roenicke said.

ON DECK

Cardinals: Adam Wainwright (16-9) has a 5.50 ERA (11 earned runs in 18 innings) over his last three starts, and will face the Brewers in the finale of the four-game series.

Brewers: Jimmy Nelson (2-6) is 0-4 in his last five starts. In his only start against the Cardinals this year, he allowed eight runs in just 4 1-3 innings in St. Louis’ 10-2 win on July 12.

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