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Cards reach milestone for first time since 1985
MILWAUKEE -- Watching the St. Louis Cardinals get their 100th win filled Tony La Russa with pride.
"A 100th win is a magic number," the Cardinals manager said after Thursday's 4-2 win over Milwaukee. "It has significant meaning for a team. It's a mark of excellence. You have to be really good to get that number. Ninety-nine was a great number. One hundred has a different feel."
St. Louis reached 100 wins for the first time since 1985 and the seventh time overall as Yadier Molina hit his first major league home run, a two-out drive in the eighth off Matt Wise (1-2) that broke a 2-2 tie.
Hector Luna followed with his third homer of the season, his fourth hit of the game. Wise had allowed just one homer this season in 50 1-3 innings coming into the game.
"He just got two curveballs up a little bit," Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said.
St. Louis (100-52), which clinched the NL Central title last weekend, has 10 games remaining and can surpass its club record of 106 wins, set in 1942.
Dan Haren, pitching because Chris Carpenter strained his right biceps, made his first start for St. Louis since Aug. 20. He allowed one run and two hits in five innings and matched his career high with six strikeouts.
"I was throwing a lot of fastballs," Haren said. "I tried to stay down and ahead of the guys."
Given a 2-1 lead, Cal Eldred (4-2) allowed a tying homer in the sixth to Geoff Jenkins, Milwaukee's first homer in seven games at Miller Park.
Jason Isringhausen pitched the ninth for his league-leading 45th save in 52 chances, completing a four-hitter. The last-place Brewers, who made three errors, lost for the ninth time in 10 games.
"You think you get to the bottom of the lineup and you would get a bit of a breather," Yost said. "Not so."
St. Louis took a 2-0 lead with two outs in the first on run-scoring singles by Molina and Luna, who had been in an 0-for-9 slide. Trent Durrington tripled in a run for Milwaukee in the third.
St. Louis loaded the bases with one out in the fifth before Ben Hendrickson struck Reggie Sanders and John Mabry. Hendrickson, 1-7 this season, gave up two runs and seven hits in six innings. He had not pitched since Sept. 10 because Milwaukee didn't want the rookie to face Houston or San Francisco.
"You don't face the (Larry) Walkers and (Jim) Edmonds down in Triple-A," Hendrickson said. "It's fun and has been a learning experience, too."
Milwaukee sent INF Matt Erickson outright to Triple-A Indianapolis.
Haren was called for obstruction and given an error trying to tag out Podsednik in the sixth. After Haren picked Podsednik off of first base, he dropped a throw from SS Edgar Renteria near first base during a rundown and forced Podsednik out of the basepath. First base umpire Joe West awarded Podsednik second base on the play.
Haren struck out six on Aug. 6 last year against Florida.