By R.B. Fallstrom
The Associated Press
ST. LOUIS — Kyle Lohse was the St. Louis Cardinals’ ace last season. Maybe they know too much about him.
David Freese had an RBI in a four-run fourth inning to go with big plays at third base, and the Cardinals beat their former teammate for the third straight time with a 4-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.
“Baseball is a stupid game,” said Lohse, who was 16-3 for the Cardinals last season. “Baseball is weird, man. You make some good pitches and they get some good hits.”
Of course, they have a pretty good idea what’s coming from Lohse, who was with St. Louis from 2008-12.
“Yeah, well, he was with the Cardinals, if you remember,” said Pete Kozma, who contributed an RBI squeeze bunt to the rally. “We kind of know what he has, kind of know his tendencies a little bit, what his ball does.”
John Gast (2-0) won his second straight start in place of the injured Jake Westbrook and fellow rookie Seth Maness escaped a bases-loaded, none-out jam in the seventh to help the Cardinals win for the 14th time in 17 games. They took two of three from Milwaukee and lead the season series 8-2.
They’re down two starting pitchers, with Jaime Garcia also on the 15-day disabled list with a left shoulder strain, but haven’t let it slow them down.
“We’ve got to pick it up but with the talent we have, it doesn’t demand much,” Freese said. “The guys we have in Double-A and Triple-A, they’re waiting and they’re hungry and they’re expected to do well.”
Edward Mujica earned his 13th save in 13 chances after a third rookie, Trevor Rosenthal, gave up a hit in the eighth.
Lohse (1-5) left in free agency when the Cardinals opted to go with younger players such as Shelby Miller and save salary. He gave up four runs in six innings, and is 0-4 overall in his last five starts.
Yuniesky Betancourt and Jeff Bianchi each drove in a run and Norichika Aoki had three hits and a walk for the Brewers, who have lost 14 of 17. They didn’t have much to show for 10 hits and wrapped up a 2-8 trip.
“There were a lot of story lines out of our road trip,” said Ryan Braun, who grounded into a double play with the bases loaded to end the seventh. “And none of them good.”
Pirates 1, Astros 0: PITTSBURGH — Jeff Locke allowed three hits over seven innings, Pedro Alvarez homered and the Pittsburgh Pirates won for the eighth time in 10 games, 1-0 over the Houston Astros on Sunday.
Locke (4-1) won his fourth straight decisions and gave up one run or fewer for the fifth time in his past eight outings. He struck out four and walked three.
The notoriously streaky Alvarez pushed his average above .200 for just the second time since the second game of the season. His eighth home run came on the first pitch and was an opposite field line drive down the left field line in the fifth.
Alvarez’s longball was his second of the series and third in eight games. It was the lone mistake by Astros starter Lucas Harrell, who lost his third consecutive decision despite allowing four hits and one walk in seven innings.
Athletics 4, Royals 3: OAKLAND, Calif. — Yoenis Cespedes hit a leadoff home run in the eighth inning and the Oakland Athletics beat the Kansas City Royals 4-3 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.
Cespedes hit his eighth homer, connecting against Kelvin Herrera (2-4).
Jerry Blevins (3-0) pitched one scoreless inning. Ryan Cook worked the ninth for his first save of the season.
Alex Gordon matched his career high of four hits for Kansas City.
The Royals have lost 10 of 13 and fallen back to .500.
Rangers 11, Tigers 8: ARLINGTON, Texas — David Murphy put Texas ahead with a three-run home run, and the Rangers spoiled a three-homer game from Miguel Cabrera with an 11-8 victory against the Detroit Tigers on Sunday night.
Murphy’s shot just over the fence in right field gave Texas an 8-7 lead and answered a bases-loaded double from Prince Fielder that put Detroit up by two in the sixth inning after the Rangers had walked Cabrera intentionally even though first base wasn’t open.
Cabrera hit a three-run homer in the third and a solo shot in the fifth off Derek Holland, then went deep again in the eighth against Tanner Scheppers.
Cabrera, the 2012 AL Triple Crown winner and this year’s leader in average and RBIs, went 4 for 4 with 5 RBIs and has 11 homers, one off the AL lead.