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Cardinals beat Brewers 7-2, maintain 2-game lead (VIDEO)

St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Adams is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run against the Milwaukee Brewers in the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, in Milwaukee.

St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Adams is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run against the Milwaukee Brewers in the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, in Milwaukee.

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Matt Carpenter broke Stan Musial's team record for doubles by a left-handed batter in a season, Lance Lynn won for the first time since early August and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-2 Saturday night to maintain a two-game lead in the NL Central.

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Cardinals vs. Milwaukee

Seeking their first division title since 2009, the Cardinals (91-64) have surged ahead of Pittsburgh (89-66) and Cincinnati (88-67), which dropped three games back with a 4-2 loss in Pittsburgh.

St. Louis would clinch a playoff spot for the third straight postseason if the Washington Nationals lost to the Miami Marlins later Saturday in a game delayed by rain at the start. The Cardinals have won for the 12th time in 17 games and improved to 14-4 against the Brewers this year, including 8-1 in Milwaukee.

Carpenter's fifth-inning double was his 54th of the season, one more than Musial's total in 1953.

Lynn (14-10) allowed one run, four hits and four walks in 6 1-3 innings with seven strikeouts. He had been 0-5 with a 5.44 ERA in eight starts since winning at Cincinnati on Aug. 4.

Yovani Gallardo (11-10) gave up two runs and four hits in seven innings and dropped to 1-11 with a 6.46 ERA in 17 career starts against St. Louis.

Matt Adams hit a two-run homer for the second straight night, putting the Cardinals ahead in the first. Davis hit an RBI grounder in the bottom half, but the Cardinals blew open the game in a five-run eighth.

Rob Wooten walked Yadier Molina on a nine-pitch at-bat with the bases loaded, David Freese hit a two-run single and Daniel Descalso added a two-run double against Alfredo Figaro for a 7-1 lead.

Davis doubled in a run in the bottom half against Seth Maness.

NOTES: Brewers players drove through the parking lots and tossed bobbleheads and T-shirts to surprised tailgaters after batting practice, part of an effort to thank fans at the end of a disappointing season. ... Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said that INF-OF Allen Craig's left foot will be re-evaluated at the end of next week. He's missed 16 games since spraining his left foot Sept. 4 at Cincinnati. ... Mozeliak said that team will remain flexible in how it closes games. Edward Mujica's 37 saves leads the club, but his recent struggles force the Cardinals into a closer-by-committee approach. "So, just having somebody labeled our closer right now, we can't do that," the GM said. He added that there still was enough time yet this season to correct the problem.

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