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Cards blank Brewers
MILWAUKEE -- Mark McGwire hit a two-run homer and Darryl Kile won for the first time in almost a month to lead the St. Louis Cardinals over the Milwaukee Brewers 8-0 Monday night.
Kile (14-10) scattered nine hits over six innings to win for the first time since Aug. 12 against the New York Mets. He had been 0-3 in his previous four starts.
St. Louis (79-64) closed within a half-game of San Francisco (80-64), the NL wild card leader, and moved within five games of Houston, which leads the NL Central. The Cardinals play their remaining 19 games against division opponents, including six games with the Astros.
Kile pitched out of trouble in each of the first five innings. He stranded runners at second and third in both the first and second innings, and left the bases loaded in the fourth. In the third, right fielder J.D. Drew threw out Geoff Jenkins at home for the final out.
Mike Matthews finished for his first career save, his first in four chances this season.
Jamey Wright (9-11) was rocked for eight runs on six hits in 3 2-3 innings.
McGwire hit his 24th homer in the second, a 445-shot off the bottom of the scoreboard in straightaway center. Half of McGwire's 48 hits are home runs.
Placido Polanco's bases-loaded single keyed a six-run fourth inning as the Cardinals pushed the lead to 8-0.
Drew, Albert Pujols and Jim Edmonds opened the fourth with consecutive singles to make it 3-0. Edgar Renteria hit an RBI grounder with the bases loaded and Mike Matheny added an RBI single. Polanco's two-run single chased Wright and reliever Mike Buddie allowed a run on a wild pitch.