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Pink bats work well for Brewers; Gagne benched

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New Richmond, 54017

New Richmond Wisconsin 127 South Knowles Avenue 54017

Ryan Braun homered twice to help the Milwaukee Brewers beat St. Louis 5-3 at Miller Park.

Both were solo shots with a pink bat, as part of a Mother's Day fund-raiser throughout the Majors for breast cancer research.

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Jeff Suppan went seven innings to get the win, the first since April 5 for any Brewers' starter other than Ben Sheets.

Suppan gave up a run on six hits with four strikeouts and five walks as he improved to 2-2.

The Brewers never trailed, but Yadier Molina hit an RBI single in the ninth to get the Cardinals to within two.

Salomon Torres started the ninth and gave up the run. Brian Shouse got the final out for his first save of the year. They replaced closer Eric Gagne.

J.J. Hardy went 3-4 with an RBI and Corey Hart drove in a run and went 2-4.

Braden Looper gave up four runs in six innings to take the loss and goes to 5-2.

Ryan Ludwick homered for the Cardinals, who've lost four of their last-five.

They'll go for a split of their four-game Milwaukee series when it closes (Monday). Right-hander Dave Bush will start for the Brewers against righty Adam Wainwright.

St. Louis is now in a virtual tie with the Chicago Cubs for the National League Central lead with the Brewers in fourth place at four games back.

Gagne benched

Brewers' manager Ned Yost says closer Eric Gagne has a mechanical flaw that can be easily adjusted.

He's not saying what it is, but Yost believes the veteran right-hander can get back on track.

Gagne was temporarily relieved of his closing job Sunday as Yost decided to go with a closer-by-committee instead.

Gagne has nine saves this year, but he has blown six other chances, including last Saturday when he lost a tie-game in the ninth inning to St. Louis.

After that game, Gagne said it was a mental issue and he doesn't deserve to be the closer anymore.

Yost says the 32-year-old Gagne is pushing hard and he's taking his problems hard.

The Brewers have several pitchers with closing experience. Salomon Torres has 29 career saves, David Riske has 20, and Guillermo Mota has 19.

Gagne, who won the National League Cy Young award in 2003, is 1-2 with a 6.89 ERA.

Gallardo surgery

Brewers' starter Yovani Gallardo will have surgery Tuesday to fix a torn ACL ligament in his right knee. He's expected to miss the rest of the season.

Gallardo was injured on May 1 in Chicago, when he jumped over a diving base runner at first base and took a hard landing on his back and knee.

It took a couple days for the Brewers to learn how severe the injury was. Since then, they've considered options to determine if surgery was necessary.

The Brewers had counted on Gallardo to be their No. 2 starter behind Ben Sheets. Gallardo started only three games following an injury to his other knee. He had no record with a 1.80 ERA.

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