MILWAUKEE (AP) - The St. Louis Cardinals were quickly trying to put their lost weekend in Milwaukee behind them.
Prince Fielder's go-ahead homer in the sixth rallied Milwaukee to a 4-3 victory over St. Louis on Sunday as the Brewers knocked the Cardinals out of first place in the NL Central with a three-game sweep.
``I don't want to be melodramatic. This is June and we have to be ready for Washington on Tuesday,' said Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa. ``We came in here to win a series and they outmanaged us and outplayed us.'
The loss dropped the Cardinals out of first place in the NL Central for the first time since mid-May as St. Louis lost for the fourth time in the last five games.
Fielder's 19th home run chased Jake Westbrook (6-4) who carried a shutout into the sixth.
Second baseman Skip Schumacher said the Cardinals needed to learn from what happened and keep moving forward.
``We'll be okay,' he said. ``When we get all of our players back, we'll be in good shape. We did not have a good weekend, but there is a lot of season left.'
Westbrook cruised through the first five innings, giving up no runs and four hits. But entering the sixth inning with a 3-0 lead, the first four batters reached base, highlighted by Fielder's 440-foot two-run blast into the right field bleachers.
Westbrook (6-4) said he felt good, but left several pitches up in the inning. He said the pitch to Fielder was down and in, a place where Fielder likes to swing a pitches.
``I was feeling good, keeping the ball down and doing what I wanted to do,' Westbrook said. ``It kind of snowballed on me. It just can't happen. With a three-run lead in the sixth, I have to do a better job of putting up a zero.'
Westbrook called the series sweep ``a bump in the road.'
``We have to be more consistent and get back in the win column and winning series like we were doing,' he said.
LaRussa said he was pleased with the way Westbrook pitched until the fateful sixth inning.
``He got a couple of balls up and they didn't miss them,' he said. ``They are a very good team, especially at home.'
Schumacher said he was looking forward to getting outfielder Matt Holliday back in the lineup. Holliday has been out since June 1 with a strained left quadriceps. Holliday would bat fourth behind Albert Pujols and in front of Lance Berkman.
``That will be quite a three, four and five in the lineup,' he said.
Milwaukee starter Shaun Marcum (7-2) won for the first time since May 21, a span of three starts that included a loss and then consecutive no decisions. He had never faced the Cardinals. He allowed three runs on five hits with eight strikeouts and a walk over seven innings.
The Cardinals looked as if they might avoid being swept when Schumacher hit a two-out, two-run single with the bases loaded for the first runs. Yadier Molina running from first had to duck as Schumaker's liner sailed over him and into right field.
St. Louis tacked on another run on Rasmus' double in the sixth.
But in the sixth, Rickie Weeks singled and scored on Mark Kotsay's double. Ryan Braun drove in Kotsay with a single before Fielder connected on the first pitch. He tied Matt Kemp for the NL home run lead.
Fielder, who went 2 for 3 with a walk and two RBIs, now has 58 RBIs to extend his lead in the NL.
NOTES: The Cardinals purchased the contract of Andrew Brown from Triple-A Memphis on Sunday and put Allen Craig on the 15-day disabled list in a switch of outfielders. The 26-year-old Brown was the sixth Cardinals player to make his major league debut this season. He pinch hit for reliever Jason Motte and struck out. Craig, a right fielder, has a bruised right knee. He left Tuesday's game in Houston after running into a padded railing while trying to catch a foul ball in the first inning. The move is retroactive to June 8. ... RHP Kyle McClellan (left hip flexor) and Holliday should come off the disabled list this week. McClellan (6-2, 3.86 ERA) is scheduled to start on Wednesday against Washington. LaRussa said Holliday went through a full workout before the game and should be activated on Thursday. ... Cardinals 1B Albert Pujols went 0 for 3 with a walk and had his nine-game hitting streak snapped. ... Pujols went 2 for 10 and Berkman 1 for 11 in the series.
The Associated Press News Service
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