ST. LOUIS (AP) - Yadier Molina singled twice to reach 2,000 career hits and the St. Louis Cardinals began a five-game series between playoff contenders by beating the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2.
Rookie Dylan Carlson homered, doubled and drove in three runs as the Cardinals kept their slim lead over Cincinnati for second place in the NL Central.
Milwaukee missed a chance to move up in the wild-card standings.
The Brewers and Cardinals play four more times this weekend, including a doubleheader Friday. St. Louis starter Kwang Hyun Kim went five innings to pick up the win.