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Cardinals' losing streak hits eight games

Cardinals' losing streak hits eight games

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ST. LOUIS - Prince Fielder went 3-for-4 with a two-run home run and the Milwaukee Brewers extended the St. Louis Cardinals' losing streak to eight games with a 4-3 victory on Friday night.

NL Cy Young winner Chris Carpenter, who was on the mound the night the Cardinals stopped an earlier eight-game skid in June, couldn't keep this one from growing. Tony Graffanino had three hits and an RBI for the Brewers, who have won four of six.

Doug Davis (7-6) worked into the sixth and Dan Kolb rescued him from a bases loaded jam to end that inning. Francisco Cordero got the last three outs for his third save in as many chances with Milwaukee.

Juan Encarnacion had two hits and two RBIs, David Eckstein had two hits and an RBI and Scott Rolen doubled and tripled for the Cardinals. The NL Central leaders were swept in three-game series by two sub-.500 teams, the Phillies and Cubs, before falling to another team with a losing record on Friday.

The Cardinals have been outscored 54-29 during the slump, and their division lead was shaved to 2 1/2 games over Cincinnati. In the first seven losses, the Cardinals lost only one game off their lead.

Davis allowed three runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings with three strikeouts and four walks, and is 2-0 in his last five outings. All four walks were of the Cardinals' seventh- and eighth-place hitters, two each to Ronnie Belliard and Yadier Molina.

Carpenter (10-6) needed only 65 pitches to get through six innings. The Brewers bunched three of their seven hits against him in a three-run third highlighted by Fielder's two-run homer. They had two hits and Kevin Mench's sacrifice fly in the sixth for a 4-2 lead.

Graffanino had an RBI single in the third, singled and scored on Mench's sacrifice fly in the sixth and doubled in the eighth.

Rolen tripled and scored on Encarnacion's infield hit in the sixth to cut the deficit to one, and Carpenter was taken out for pinch-hitter Scott Spiezio with the bases loaded and two outs. Kolb, pitching for the first time in nine days, got Spiezio on a pop-up to shortstop.

Notes: Of Fielder's 21 homers, 17 have come with the bases empty and four with one on. … Spiezio is 3-for-24 as a pinch hitter with one homer and three RBIs. … Albert Pujols and Jim Edmonds, who entered the game a combined 12-for-32 against Davis with four homers, got one hit in six at-bats against the left-hander. Pujols doubled leading off the fourth. … The Brewers improved to 20-34 on the road, second-worst in the majors.

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