Ryan Braun and Corey Hart homered, Chris Narveson threw eight innings and the Milwaukee Brewers kept rolling at home despite a small fire in the ballpark in an 8-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals last night.
Narveson (3-4) began his career as a Cardinals draft pick, but he's played an important role in Milwaukee's rotation and stymied his former team after losing to St. Louis on May 8.
Braun's two-run homer made it 4-0 in the fifth and Hart hit a solo shot to start the sixth just as smoke started to billow in right field from a concession stand's malfunctioning popcorn machine.
The Cardinals' Tony La Russa managed his 5,000th game, but there was little he could have liked from this one after St. Louis managed just six hits.
Milwaukee improved to 23-9 at home, the best mark in the majors, and could take first place in the NL Central from the Cardinals with a three-game sweep of this weekend series.
The Brewers got off to a solid start by roughing up Kyle Lohse (7-3) and chasing him after five innings. Lohse has lost five straight to Milwaukee and hasn't won in Miller Park for 6 years.
Milwaukee dropped two of three against the Mets in its previous series, but has not lost consecutive games at home this season.
La Russa was honored with an announcement before the game and tipped his cap to a warm ovation. He also discussed a call in the fourth inning with first-base umpire Angel Campos, but never came close to being tossed.
The 66-year-old La Russa is 2,676-2,320-4 with two World Series titles in 33 seasons with the White Sox, Athletics and Cardinals. Only Connie Mack has managed more games in major league history - 7,755 over 53 years.
In other games:
* At Pittsburgh, rookie Dillon Gee remained undefeated, Jose Reyes homered among his three hits and the New York Mets won for the fifth time in six games, 8-1, over the Pirates. Gee became the first Mets rookie starter to improve to 7-0, and New York has won all nine of his starts. Recalled from the minors yesterday, Lukas Duda had an RBI single and a sacrifice fly.
* At Miami, Logan Morrison and Mike Stanton each hit a two-run homer and the Florida Marlins snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 6-4 victory over Arizona Diamondbacks.
* At Houston, Freddie Freeman and Alex Gonzalez homered on back-to-back pitches during Atlanta's four-run third inning and the Braves pounded the Astros, 11-4, for their fourth consecutive victory.
* At Denver, Jhoulys Chacin pitched eight shutout innings and the Colorado Rockies pounded Chad Billingsley for 13 hits in a 6-5 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Chacin (7-4) stifled a Dodgers lineup missing slugger Matt Kemp (hamstring), and the Rockies scored five times in the fifth on six straight singles.
* Atlanta leftfielder Martin Prado has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a staph infection in his right calf. Infielder Brandon Hicks was recalled from Triple A Gwinnett.