Josh Hader returned from a family medical emergency to earn his 16th save in 16 tries as the visiting Milwaukee Brewers edged the St. Louis Cardinals 4-3 on Thursday.
Hader, who had not allowed a run since last July 28, was away from the Brewers for the previous three games to be with his wife, Maria Macias, after she experienced pregnancy complications.
By claiming the opener of a four-game series, the National League Central-leading Brewers won for the sixth time in the past eight games. The Cardinals took their second loss in a row after a four-game winning streak.
Brewers starter Eric Lauer (5-1) allowed two runs on four hits and four walks in five innings. He struck out one. Trevor Kelley, Trevor Gott and Brad Boxberger pitched an inning each to get the game to Hader, who worked around a two-on, one-out jam in the ninth.
Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright (5-4) allowed four runs (three earned) on 10 hits and a walk in five innings. He fanned two.
Paul Goldschmidt went 2-for-4 for the Cardinals with a homer, a walk and two runs while extending his hitting streak to 17 games and his on-base streak to 31 games.
The Brewers jumped on Wainwright in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead.
Luis Urias started the scoring with a one-out solo homer. Two-out singles by Andrew McCutchen, Rowdy Tellez and Tyrone Taylor produced the second run before Wainwright coaxed an inning-ending grounder from Omar Narvaez.
The Cardinals tied the game in their half of the inning. Tommy Edman hit a leadoff double, Goldschmidt walked, Albert Pujols hit an RBI single and Juan Yepez followed with a sacrifice fly.
Milwaukee regained the lead with an unearned run in the second inning. Jace Peterson hit a one-out double, Urias reached on a two-out error, and Christian Yelich hit RBI single.
The Brewers expanded their lead to 4-2 in the fourth inning when Kolten Wong hit a one-out single, Yelich walked with two outs and McCutchen followed with a RBI single.
Goldschmidt cut the deficit to 4-3 with a seventh-inning homer off Gott.
The Cardinals got two runners on base in the ninth inning, but Hader got Pujols and Yepez to pop out to end the game.
--Field Level Media