Cardinals nip Brewers 2-0, spoil Lohse’s return

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Shelby Miller handles a ground ball hit by Milwaukee Brewers' Jonathan Lucroy during the fourth inning of a baseball game on Friday, April 12, 2013, in St. Louis. Miller was able to throw Lucroy out at first.

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Shelby Miller handles a ground ball hit by Milwaukee Brewers' Jonathan Lucroy during the fourth inning of a baseball game on Friday, April 12, 2013, in St. Louis. Miller was able to throw Lucroy out at first. Photo by The Associated Press.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Rookie Shelby Miller allowed one hit in seven innings, a single by Norichika Aoki to open the game, and the St. Louis Cardinals had just enough to spoil Kyle Lohse’s first start as a visitor since 2007 in a 2-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night.

A near-sellout crowd of 42,528 bundled up in 44-degree chill for the second Stan Musial tribute of the opening homestand, featuring a harmonica giveaway and the unveiling of a memorial plaque attached to the iconic Musial statue outside Busch Stadium. Seven members of the Musial family threw simultaneous first pitches and Musial’s No. 6 was cut into the outfield grass in center.

David Freese had an RBI single at the end of a three-hit flurry to open the second and Yadier Molina hit his second homer in the seventh for the Cardinals, who have allowed one run during a three-game winning streak.

Lohse, a 16-game winner whom the Cardinals did not attempt to re-sign, allowed two runs in seven innings while throwing 82 pitches — 31 fewer than Miller needed. He received a nice ovation before his first at-bat leading off the third, with hundreds of fans standing.

Miller (2-0) had a career-best eight strikeouts in his third career start, one more than he had in his debut against the Reds in the 2012 regular-season finale. He retired his final 17 in order after hitting Alex Gonzalez with one out in the second, and fanned Ryan Braun and Carlos Gomez twice each.

Lohse (0-1) pulled a nice escape in the second, holding the Cardinals to one run after giving up three straight hits in the second. He allowed one hit the next four innings before Molina homered with one out in the seventh.

Lohse, who is 30-18 with a 3.39 ERA at Busch Stadium, made his first start in St. Louis in an opposition uniform since a 5-1 win for the Reds on June 7, 2007.

Trevor Rosenthal retired the side in order in the eighth and Mitchell Boggs stranded two runners in the ninth, striking out Braun and Rickie Weeks to earn his second save in four chances to wind up a game played in 2 hours, 15 minutes.

Carlos Beltran led off the first with a broken-bat single that gave him a .575 average (23-for-40) against Lohse, and the Cardinals had runners on second and third after Braun, leaving his feet at the last second on a running attempt, couldn’t hang onto Molina’s double to the gap to left-center. Freese singled up the middle on the next pitch to put St. Louis ahead, but Lohse got eighth-place hitter Pete Kozma on a called third strike and Miller grounded into a double play.

Notes: Aoki is 12-for-25 during a six-game hitting streak. ... Cardinals rookie Matt Adams, the backup first baseman, was on the bench despite his .643 average. “He’s done a nice job for them,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said before the game. “Hopefully, he’s not in there a lot.” ... The Brewers Alex Gonzalez got hit by a pitch on the left hand in the second and was taken out the next inning. X-rays were negative.

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