Veteran pitcher Randy Wolf put in an inspired performance for the Milwaukee Brewers as they edged to a 4-2 win over St. Louis to level their playoff series at 2-2.
Wolf tossed seven innings, giving up just two runs as he outsmarted the Cardinals’ batters despite surrendering two solo home runs.
It was the longest postseason game for left hander Wolf who got his first playoff victory at age 35.
“It was the biggest game I have ever pitched in and the biggest win of my career,” Wolf said. “I was thankful to just get another chance to be out here and pitch a game.”
Ryan Braun also had two hits for the Cardinals, who were desperately trying to avoid going down 3-1 in the best-of-seven series. Braun singled home the go-ahead run in the fifth inning.
“It feels good to know that we’re at least going to get to go back home,” said Braun.
Matt Holliday and Allen Craig homered for the Cardinals, representing their only runs in the last 16 innings.
Wolf said he threw two good pitches to Holliday and Craig but the Cardinal batters just outfoxed him at that moment.
“I can live with those two solo home runs,” Wolf said.
Brewers reliever Francisco Rodriguez allowed a hit in the eighth and John Axford finished for his second save of the series and third in the National League playoffs.
“He’s been one of our leaders here,” Braun said of Wolf. “We are always confident when he is out there.”
The Brewers ended an eight-game on-the-road losing streak in the playoffs dating to the 1982 World Series opener at St. Louis.
The Cardinals scored 22 runs in the first 19 innings of the post-season series but after the solo homers put St. Louis up 2-0 through three innings Thursday, they couldn’t buy a hit going zero-for-eight with runners in scoring position.
“We had a couple of chances to add a run and Wolf made outstanding pitches,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. “These are productive guys. He just made really good pitches.”
Cardinals left hander Jaime Garcia will square off against Brewers ace Zack Greinke for the second time in the series on Friday.
“If we hadn’t won here our season would have been over,” Braun said.