Brewers split doubleheader with Cardinals amid playoff chase

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Daniel Ponce de Leon pitched one-hit ball over six innings, Tommy Edman hit a two-run homer and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 9-1 to split their pivotal doubleheader Friday night.

In the opener, Christian Yelich homered and Brent Suter combined with Devin Williams and Josh Hader on a five-hitter for the Brewers in a 3-0 win.

Both teams are among the seven NL clubs still vying for three available postseason spots. Milwaukee is two games behind St. Louis, which opened the day in second place in the NL Central.

The top two teams in each division advance to the playoffs. The Brewers and Cardinals are also in contention for the two NL wild cards up for grabs as they finish the season with this five-game series.

Ponce de Leon (1-3) faced one over the minimum, surrendering a walk to No. 9 hitter Jacob Nottingham in the third, before Orlando Arica hit his fifth homer of the season to straightaway center. Ponce de Leon surrendered his second walk with two outs before finishing his outing by getting Ryon Healy to fly to right field.

Ponce de Leon struck out six, and Dylan Carlson and Matt Wieters each drove in two to back him.

Josh Lindblom (2-4) has lost four of his past five decisions. He allowed three runs and four hits in 2 1/3 innings. He also struck out two and walked one.

The Cardinals broke it open in the fifth, sending 10 batters to the plate. Kolten Wong led off with a single and scored on Edman’s fifth homer of the season, a shot to right field. Carlson doubled to score two and two more came in on Wieters’ single.

St. Louis took a 3-0 lead in the second on a wild pitch that brought in Paul De Jong and an RBI triple from Wong. Edman scored on Matt Carpenter’s double in the first.

In the opener, Yelich’s 12th home run of the season in the third gave Milwaukee a 3-0 lead. It came three pitches after Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty (4-3) crumpled to the ground during his delivery of an 0-2 pitch. Flaherty sat for about a minute, sometimes grimacing in pain, before resuming.

He lasted five innings, giving up three runs on five hits. He also struck out five and walked four.

Suter pitched two-hit ball over four innings, Williams (2-0) solidified his Rookie of the Year resume with two tidy innings and Hader came on for his 12th save in 14 tries.

The left-handed Suter struck out four and walked one in his longest outing of the year.

The Brewers scored twice in the second. Eric Sogard’s single scored Daniel Vogelbach, and Keston Hiura came in on Arcia’s groundout to third.

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