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Cardinals-Brewers Preview

The Associated Press

The Milwaukee Brewers were looking to extend their lengthy winning streak when St. Louis came to town, but instead they've been cooled off by some stellar Cardinals pitching.

The Brewers lineup may be in for some more trouble given how well Joe Kelly has pitched to start the season.

Kelly takes the mound looking to help guide the Cardinals to a three-game sweep of Milwaukee on Wednesday.

The Brewers (10-4) entered this series winners of nine straight, but they've managed just six hits against St. Louis pitching through the first two games. They fell 4-0 on Monday before Aramis Ramirez hit a solo homer Tuesday for their only offense in a 6-1 loss.

Milwaukee hit .294 and scored 53 runs during its winning streak.

''A lot of power in that lineup. Really throughout the whole lineup is pretty solid, so the biggest thing you do is try and keep them off balance as much as possible,'' said Cardinals starter Shelby Miller, who struck out seven in six innings.

It may not get any better for the Brewers on Wednesday as Kelly looks to continue his hot start.

Kelly (1-0, 0.79 ERA) gave up one run in 5 1-3 innings of a 6-1 win over Pittsburgh on April 5 before allowing only an unearned run in six frames of St. Louis' 6-3, 11-inning loss to the Chicago Cubs on Friday.

The right-hander faced the minimum through five innings against the Cubs.

"I had my two pitches working for me - fastball, curveball," Kelly said. "I kind of got a feel for my change there at the end and didn't have any walks, so that's always a plus."

Kelly is 1-3 with a 3.94 ERA in five career starts against the Brewers, giving up six runs - three earned - in seven innings of a 6-4 loss the last time he faced them Sept. 22.

Wily Peralta picked up the win in that contest for Milwaukee, and he'll be on the mound seeking another solid outing.

Peralta (1-0, 2.25) gave up two runs - one earned - and four hits over seven innings of Friday's 4-2 victory over Pittsburgh. He hadn't pitched seven full innings in any of his previous eight starts since going eight in a loss to Seattle on Aug. 11.

"(My slider has) gotten better," Peralta said. "Early in spring training, that's the pitch I've been working on. Finally, I did it. I have confidence in it and throwing it whatever count I want to. That's great for me."

Not much went well for the right-hander against St. Louis last season, as he went 1-3 with a 7.71 ERA in four starts. The Cardinals hit .319 off Peralta in 21 innings, with Matt Carpenter going 5 for 9 with a homer, a double and three walks against him.

Matt Holliday hit a solo homer Tuesday, while Jhonny Peralta went 2 for 4 with a pair of RBIs for St. Louis (9-5), which has won four straight overall and 10 of 12 in Milwaukee.

Mark Ellis drove in two runs in his Cardinals debut after beginning the season on the disabled list with left knee tendinitis.

''Mark did a great job - all the little things we talk about,'' manager Mike Matheny said.

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