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Brewers drop second straight to Cardinals

MILWAUKEE —Matt Holliday and Jhonny Peralta homered while Shelby Miller tossed six strong innings as the visiting St. Louis Cardinals won its fourth straight with a 6-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers Tuesday night at Miller Park.

Miller (1-2) allowed one run on three hits while striking out seven and Mark Ellis drove in two runs in his Cardinals debut after starting the season on the disabled list with knee tendinitis. Peralta and Matt Adams had two hits apiece for St. Louis, which has won 25 of its last 36 games against Milwaukee.

The Cardinals moved ahead 2-0 in the third as Matt Carpenter drew a one-out walk and scored on Allen Craig's double off Marco Estrada (1-1), who yielded three runs on five hits over six frames. St. Louis added a run in the fourth on Ellis' sacrifice fly before the Brewers got on the board on Aramis Ramirez's solo homer with two outs in the fourth.

St. Louis broke a streak of 18 1/3 scoreless innings by Milwaukee relievers in the ninth, when Holliday greeted Jim Henderson with a leadoff homer and Adams singled before Peralta crushed a one-out, two-run blast to left-center field. The runs marked the first allowed by a Brewers reliever in the seventh inning or later since April 1.

Miller lowered his ERA to 1.95 in six career starts against the Brewers, who failed to advance a runner past first base after Ramirez's homer and have lost two in a row following a nine-game winning streak. Pat Neshek, Kevin Siegrist and Seth Maness each worked a scoreless inning for St. Louis, which improved to 9-1 on April 15 since 2004.

CREW CUTS: The Cardinals optioned INF Pete Kozma to Triple-A Memphis to make room for Ellis. ... Ramirez improved to 6-for-13 with two home runs against Miller. ... Brewers RHP Tyler Thornburg, who tossed a scoreless seventh inning, has retired 17 consecutive hitters over his last five appearances.