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Molina leads Cards over Brewers, 4-2

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Yadier Molina singled twice to reach 2,000 career hits and the St. Louis Cardinals began a five-game series between playoff contenders by beating the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 Thursday night.

Rookie Dylan Carlson homered, doubled and drove in three runs as the Cardinals (28-26) kept their slim lead over Cincinnati (29-28) for second place in the NL Central.

Milwaukee (27-29) missed a chance to move up in the wild-card standings. The Brewers and Cardinals play four more times this weekend, including a doubleheader Friday.

St. Louis starter Kwang Hyun Kim (3-0) went five innings to pick up the win. He allowed five hits and just one run in his seventh career start. Andrew Miller got the final two outs — both on strikeouts — to record his fourth save.

Corbin Burnes (4-1), who began the day with a 1.77 ERA, left the game with lower back discomfort in the fourth inning. He pitched 3 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on six hits.

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