The St. Louis Cardinals lost a game from their 2.5 game lead in the National League Central Friday night, getting blown out by the Milwaukee Brewers by a score of 8-0 in the series opener at Miller Park. Ryan Theriot had two hits and Yadier Molina doubled to pace the Cardinals' moribund offense, which did struggling starter Kyle Lohse no favors. He allowed four runs and walked three in five innings to take the loss. Chris Narveson, who had teetered on the edge of removal from the Brewers' rotation, struck out six in eight scoreless innings for the win, his third of the season.
Ryan Braun and Corey Hart homered, and Craig Counsell doubled and tripled for the Brewers, who improved to 36-28, just a game-and-a-half behind the Cardinals, who've led the NL Central for most of 2011. A weekend sweep would hand the Brewers the division; looking to avoid that will be Chris Carpenter, who matches up with Zack Greinke on Saturday, and Jake Westbrook, who gets Shaun Marcum on Sunday.