Touted prospect Jimmy Nelson finally made his first start at Miller Park Saturday but it was only memorable for the pounding the St. Louis Cardinals laid on him.
The Milwaukee Brewers were thumped by the Cardinals 10-2 and are now tied for the NL Central lead with St. Louis after having sole possession of first place for 94 consecutive days.
This game was all Cardinals (52-43) from the jump.
Kolten Wong made it 5-0 in the top of the second with his second home run in as many days. His sixth home run of the season is the fifth in the last seven games for the speedy second baseman.
Cruz added another run in the third with a two-out RBI double.
In the fifth, the Cardinals finally chased Nelson (1-1) after Matt Adams led off with a walk and Taveras stroked a one-out single.
Nelson was charged with those runs and surrendered eight on the day, six earned, in 4.1 innings, allowing eight hits and walking two while fanning five.
Milwaukee finally got on the board against Wainwright (12-4) in the bottom of the fifth. Jeff Bianchi, starting in place of Segura, lined a two-out double to left and Lyle Overbay, batting for Gorzelanny, lined a two-bagger to right.
Marco Estrada, who had been scheduled to start Saturday before being demoted to the bullpen when Nelson was recalled, came on in the sixth for his first relief appearance since July 8, 2012, against the Houston Astros.
Estrada gave up a run in the sixth on a Peralta sacrifice fly and surrendered a Matt Carpenter RBI single in the seventh. Estrada gave up two runs in two innings, one earned, allowing two hits, walking one and striking out one.
Rob Wooten worked the final two innings, allowing a walk and recording a strikeout.
Wainwright, meanwhile, allowed only two runs in seven innings, surrendering five hits and striking out four. His ERA actually went up to 1.83.
Braun was 2-for-4, the only Brewer with more than one hit on the day. Milwaukee mustered just six as a team.
The Brewers are now 1-10 in July and are hitting a major-league worst .207 this month.
Milwaukee had held sole possession of first place since April 9 and have held at least a share since April 5. They have been out of the lead for just four days all season—April 1-4.
That could change Sunday if the Cardinals can complete the three-game sweep. The Brewers will send Wily Peralta (9-6, 3.95 ERA) to the hill to try and stop the skid, while St. Louis counters with right-hander Carlos Martinez (2-3. 4.12 ERA).