MILWAUKEE (AP) St. Louis hasn't been playing well lately. Jason Heyward has.
Heyward hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 3-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night.
Heyward had two doubles to finish with three or more extra-base hits for the first time since Sept. 26, 2013, with Atlanta. The right fielder is batting .478 (11 for 23) with five RBIs in his last six games.
''Just trying to keep it simple, keep it simple,'' he said. ''There are good stretches, bad stretches. You just try to minimize all of them regardless of what happens. Each at-bat, put it behind you and go attack the next one.''
St. Louis has won consecutive games following a 2-8 skid and increased its lead in the NL Central to three games over second-place Pittsburgh.
''We weren't sweating too much what was going on before,'' St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. ''We weren't allowing ourselves.''
Kevin Siegrist (7-1) pitched the ninth and Trevor Rosenthal the 10th for his 44th save.
Carlos Martinez matched a season high by going eight innings. He struck out nine and gave up one earned run and four hits, as the team improved to 16-4 in his last 20 starts.
Milwaukee lost its fourth straight game and has just 10 victories in its last 36 home games against St. Louis.
Matt Carpenter led off the 10th and reached on an error on by first baseman Adam Lind. With one out, Heyward connected off Tyler Thornburg (0-2) for his 12th homer.
''All night we were falling behind to Heyward,'' Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. ''You can't fall behind to a hitter like that. He's going to make you pay.''
Milwaukee's Ariel Pena made the second start of his career and allowed one earned run and four hits in five-plus innings.
Pena allowed a leadoff double to Heyward in the sixth and he scored on a single by Jhonny Peralta, as St. Louis tied the score 1-1.
Khris Davis' solo homer to deep center field gave Milwaukee a 1-0 lead in the fifth and it came after Martinez retired 10 straight.
In the sixth, Martinez got out of a bases-loaded jam when Lind hit into an inning-ending double play.
MORE GOOD NEWS
Matt Adams made his first start at first base since tearing his quadriceps muscle on May 26, a few hours after teammate Matt Holliday returned from the disabled list. Adams, who was 0 for 2 with a walk, came off the bench over the weekend.
''I think whenever we have any of our guys back it's a positive for us, especially two guys who have significant roles on our club,'' Matheny said. ''But we've been very fortunate, we've had some other young players step in. And this team hasn't bought into the fact that we can't compete, we can't do what we need to do with some of our key pieces gone.''
Milwaukee hasn't had much to play for this season, but the team still has six games left with St. Louis and six against the Chicago Cubs.
''There's something in the atmosphere, the competition, that's fun to be a part of,'' Counsell said.
Cardinals: Jaime Garcia (8-5) is 5-1 with a 2.68 ERA since Aug. 1.
Brewers: Wily Peralta (5-8) is 0-3 with a 4.50 ERA against St. Louis this season.
Cardinals: Holliday was activated from the 15-day DL before the game but did not play. The 35-year-old missed 41 games after being sidelined July 30 with a right quadriceps strain.
Brewers: C Jonathan Lucroy has been out since getting a concussion at Miami on Sept 8, and Counsell is hopeful for his return this season. ''But you can't press it,'' he said.