ST. LOUIS — Make it an even 50 for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Road victories, that is, after riding home runs from Daniel Vogelbach and Manny Pina and a terrific five-inning start from Adrian Houser to a 4-0 shutout of the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night at Busch Stadium.
Successfully putting the news earlier in the day that setup man Devin Williams had suffered a fractured right hand and is likely done for the season into the background, the Brewers became the second team in the majors this season to reach 50 wins away from home.
That extends the franchise record and also leaves the Brewers one victory away from tying the high-water mark of 96 regular-season victories, which was set in 2011.
Also of note — the Cardinals having their franchise-record winning streak of 17 games finally snapped. It was their first defeat since Sept. 10 and just their second in their last 21 games.
Working in Houser’s favor was the fact the Cardinals were sans three of their stalwarts in third baseman Nolan Arenado, leftfielder Tyler O’Neill and catcher Yadier Molina.
Brewers setup man likely to miss playoffs after breaking his hand punching a wall.MLB PLAYOFF SCHEDULE: . Postseason march to the World Series starts Oct. 5
MLB PLAYOFF SCHEDULE: Postseason march to World Series starts Oct. 5
Staked to a 1-0 lead in the first on an Eduardo Escobar RBI groundout, he worked himself out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the frame by getting the speedy Harrison Bader to ground into a 6-4-3 double play.
That seemed to set the tone as Houser — 2-0 with a 0. 45 ERA in three prior starts against St. Louis this year — allowed only two more baserunners while inducing seven ground-ball outs over the next four innings with his heavy sinker.
Just how much was the right-hander pitching to contact? It was enough that Lars Nootbaar’s strikeout was his first of five innings.
Miles Mikolas had been doing a good job since allowing the first inning run, but his night ended abruptly in the sixth.
Christian Yelich reached base with one out. Escobar was out and Vogelbach scored to the right-center to make Milwaukee’s lead 3-0.
Lorenzo Cain then followed with a single and Andrew Miller was brought in.
Brent Suter also took over the the sixth, leaving Houser’s line at three hits, two walks and a strikeout over 67 pitches — an economical yet impressive performance.
In three starts and 20 innings against the Cardinals in September, Houser (10-6) allowed 11 hits, one run and four walks while striking out 13. His season ERA was 3. 22 in the process.
Pina’s leadoff homer off Miller in the seventh capped the scoring, while manager Craig Counsell utilized Brad Boxberger and Aaron Ashby to wrap up the Brewers’ 19th shutout of the season and first since Sept. 11 at Cleveland.