ST. LOUIS: Yadier Molina singled twice to reach 2,000 career hits and the St. Louis Cardinals began a five-game series between playoff contenders by beating the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 Thursday night.
Rookie Dylan Carlson homered, doubled and drove in three runs as the Cardinals (28-26) kept their slim lead over Cincinnati (29-28) for second place in the NL Central.
Milwaukee (27-29) missed a chance to move up in the wild-card standings. The Brewers and Cardinals play four more times this weekend, including a doubleheader Friday.
St. Louis starter Kwang Hyun Kim (3-0) went five innings to pick up the win. He allowed five hits and just one run in his seventh career start. Andrew Miller got the final two outs both on strikeouts to record his fourth save.
Corbin Burnes (4-1), who began the day with a 1.77 ERA, left the game with lower back discomfort in the fourth inning. He pitched 3 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on six hits.
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