Series: Game 1 of 3

St. Louis leads 1-0 (as of 4/9)

Game 1: Tuesday, April 9
Milwaukee 5Final
St. Louis 6
Game 2: Wednesday, April 10
Milwaukee 5Final
in 11
St. Louis 6
Game 3: Thursday, April 11
Milwaukee 5Final
St. Louis 6

Brewers 5

(2-5, 1-3 away)

Cardinals 6

(4-3, 2-2 home)

    8:10 PM ET, April 9, 2002

    Busch Stadium I, St. Louis, Missouri 

    123456789 R H E
    MIL 000000500 5 9 2
    STL 02110011 - 6 6 0

    W: D. Veres (1-0)

    L: J. Cabrera (0-1)

    S: J. Isringhausen (1)

    Third-stringer having fun with new-found success

    ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Even Eli Marrero is surprised by his sizzling start.

    Eli Marrero

    Marrero had three hits, raising his average to .733, and scored the go-ahead run as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-5 Tuesday night.

    "I can't even imagine it," Marrero said. "I'm not going to think about it."

    Marrero, who entered the season as a .229 hitter and the No. 3 catcher, has been playing the outfield and is 11-for-15 with a home run and five RBI. He hit a two-run double in the second, singled and scored in the fourth and singled and scored on Fernando Vina's sacrifice fly off Jose Cabrera (0-1) in the eighth.

    "I'm just going out there when he gives me a chance and having fun," Marrero said. "That's all I'm doing, going out and having some fun, trying to play hard, and see what happens at the end of the game."

    The Cardinals' bullpen couldn't hold a 4-0 lead in the seventh as the Brewers rallied for five runs to take the lead. But St. Louis tied it in the bottom half on four walks by Takahito Nomura, the last coming on four pitches with the bases loaded to Tino Martinez.

    Marrero led off the eighth with a single and went to third when Cabrera slipped and fell fielding pinch-hitter Miguel Cairo's bunt and then bounced a wild throw to first for an error. Marrero barely beat the throw from right fielder Alex Ochoa on Vina's sacrifice fly.

    Brewers starter Ruben Quevedo also botched a bunt play, falling down and throwing wildly to first on Garrett Stephenson's sacrifice in the fourth.

    "I don't know what happened out there," Brewers manager Davey Lopes said. "You've got to be able to field a bunt out there."

    Dave Veres (1-0) pitched two innings for the victory. Jason Isringhausen struck out three batters for his first save after Geoff Jenkins' leadoff double against Steve Kline.

    "It was a dream come true, especially the way I did it," Isringhausen said. "But in the same sense, it's what I'm supposed to do. It's what I'm here for and I got the job done."

    The Brewers, who struck out an NL-record 33 times in losing to Arizona's Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling over the weekend, didn't get a hit off Stephenson until Ochoa singled with two outs in the fifth.

    Ronnie Belliard doubled and Jeffrey Hammonds singled to start the seventh and chase Stephenson. Richie Sexson singled off Gene Stechschulte for a run. Jenkins doubled off Mike Matthews and Ochoa followed with a two-run double off Veres. Raul Casanova's sacrifice fly put the Brewers in front.

    "I thought we had it right where we wanted it," Lopes said. "It just didn't pan out that way."

    Stephenson, a 16-game winner in 2000 who missed last season with an injured elbow, gave up four hits and two runs in six-plus innings with four strikeouts and one walk.

    "I'm just keeping the ball down," Stephenson said. "That was a lot better tonight."

    The Brewers rescued Quevedo, who has failed to make it out of the fourth in both of his starts. Quevedo, who has allowed eight earned runs in seven innings, allowed four runs -- three earned -- five hits and four walks in 3 2/3 innings.

    Albert Pujols and Mike Matheny walked and scored on Marrero's two-out double in the second. Pujols' single made it 3-0 in the third and Marrero singled and scored on Edgar Renteria's two-out double in the fourth.

    Game notes

    Left-handed pitcher Glendon Rusch will start Wednesday for the Brewers instead of Jamey Wright, who has tenderness in his back and shoulder. Lopes said he didn't know who would start the series finale Thursday. ... Brewers leadoff hitter Eric Young is 2-for-25 after going 0-for-3 with a hit by pitch. ... Jenkins, 1-for-11 with nine strikeouts, in three games against the Diamondbacks, was 2-for-4 with two doubles. ... Pujols is the only Cardinals player to hit safely in all seven games. ... Martinez returned to the Cardinals' lineup after bruising his kneecap Sunday. He was 0-for-3 and is 3-for-20 (.150) on the year with three RBI.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press