MILWAUKEE >> It took a few days for speedy St. Louis infielder Kolten Wong to show he can provide a spark for the Cardinals in the NL playoff race.
Wong got his first two major league hits Monday night, keying a four-run rally with an infield single in an 8-5 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.
“That was a spark, that’s what we talked about when we brought him here,” manager Mike Matheny said of the rookie who was hitless in his first 10 at-bats after joining the team from Triple-A Memphis on Friday night in Chicago.
“It was a pretty good example of what we were hoping for,” Matheny said.
Wong had infield singles in the sixth and eighth innings, and stole two bases. St. Louis trailed 5-4 with two outs in the eighth when he hit a high chopper to third and was ruled safe at first by umpire Marty Foster in a call disputed after the game by the Brewers.
“That’s what they brought me up here for, to get on base, so the guys behind me can drive me in,” he said. “That’s my goal. That’s what I go up there every time trying to do.”
The infield hit opened the flood gates. The single was the first of six consecutive hits, capped by pinch hitter David Freese’s two-run double, and the Cardinals won for the ninth time in 11 games.
“They were relentless right there,” Matheny said of his team. “It started with some hustle with Wong legging that out, and guys having some big, big at-bats for us.”
Carlos Beltran and Jon Jay homered, and Yadier Molina had four hits for St. Louis, which got seven of its 16 hits in the eighth inning.
Aramis Ramirez snapped a 1-for-18 skid since returning from the disabled list Aug. 13 with a two-run homer off Michael Wacha (2-0) in the seventh to give the Brewers a 5-4 lead.
The Brewers thought they should have been out of the inning after Wong’s infield chopper.
“I was standing right there, and I thought he was out,” Kintzler said. “But from his (Foster’s) angle — it’s a short hop — it’s a tough call from his angle. I have a better angle. If you slow it down on replay, you have to really slow it down. It’s a tough play. From his angle, it’s tough."