Cardinals’ stars shine in win over Brewers

Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado homered as the St. Louis Cardinals opened a key National League Central series against the visiting Milwaukee Brewers with a 3-1 victory on Friday.

The first-place Cardinals improved to 11-3 in their past 14 games and moved 1.5 games ahead of the second-place Brewers. St. Louis has won nine straight home games.

Cardinals starter Jordan Montgomery (5-3) allowed four hits over six scoreless innings while throwing a career-high 108 pitches. Andre Pallante allowed a run in the seventh before Ryan Helsley tossed two scoreless innings for his 12th save.

Victor Caratini had three hits and an RBI for Milwaukee, which outhit St. Louis 8-6 but lost for the seventh time in 10 games.

Goldschmidt gave the Cardinals a first-inning lead with a two-run homer against Eric Lauer (8-4). The blast, which traveled 429 feet, was Goldschmidt’s second in as many games and 28th of the season

Lauer settled in and retired 11 of the next 13 batters. The Cardinals had two runners on with two outs in the fifth before Goldschmidt grounded out to end the inning.

St. Louis tacked on a run in the sixth on Arenado’s leadoff homer. The seven-time All-Star has gone deep in three straight games and has six homers in his past 10 games, 25 on the year.

Lauer allowed three runs on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts over six frames.

Montgomery departed after striking out Keston Hiura to end the sixth. He walked two and struck out eight in his second start since being acquired from the New York Yankees.

Milwaukee pushed a run across in the seventh against Pallante. Luis Urias hit a leadoff triple off the left field wall and scored on Caratini’s single.

Pallante escaped further trouble when Tyrone Taylor grounded into a double play and Christian Yelich lined out to third.

Kolten Wong hit a leadoff single in the ninth before Helsley retired the next three batters in order to end the game.

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