ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Dave Bush pitched six stingy innings to bounce back from a start in which allowed four consecutive home runs, and Casey McGehee hit a two-run homer in the Milwaukee Brewers' 3-2 victory over the suddenly sliding St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.
Albert Pujols homered for the eighth time in 14 games, leading off the fourth with his 31st of the season and 397th of his career. The Cardinals managed only three more singles against Bush (6-10) and have lost three in a row to NL Central also-rans, including a pair of losses to the Cubs.
St. Louis is 10-5 against the division-leading Reds, but 15-17 against the Brewers, Cubs and Astros.
Rookie reliever John Axford got five outs for his 18th save in 20 chances and sixth longer than an inning. He allowed one run with a wild pitch in the eighth before getting Matt Holliday to tap out with two on for the third out.
Pujols drew his major league-leading 27th intentional walk before Holliday's groundout. He passed Joe Carter for 50th on the career list, one behind Dale Murphy, and is 7 for 15 the last four games.
But Pujols' last three homers, and five of the last eight, have come with the bases empty.
Cardinals rookie Jaime Garcia (10-6) got six days of rest for the second straight time and was hurt only in the third when third baseman Felipe Lopez's fielding error on a potential double-play ball opened the door for a three-run rally highlighted by McGehee's 19th homer. Garcia allowed five hits and struck out six, and all of the runs were unearned.
McGehee had three hits, including a liner off Garcia's backside in the second, and is batting .411 (23 for 56) the last 14 games with five homers and 19 RBIs.
In his last outing Bush became the fourth pitcher in major league history to allow four consecutive homers when he allowed solo shots to Arizona's Adam LaRoche, Miguel Montero, Mark Reynolds and Stephen Drew in the fourth inning. Holliday followed Pujols' homer with a drive to the warning track in right that was snared by Corey Hart, and the next two batters went down quietly.
Bush has a 4.63 ERA mostly due to five horrible starts in which he allowed 32 runs in 18 1-3 innings. He has a 2.89 ERA in his other 19 starts.
Lopez botched another potential double-play ball in the second. He's been the starter since David Freese was sidelined by injuries in June but also has struggled at the plate, mired in a 4-for-37 slump.
NOTES: Cardinals RHP Jeff Suppan (groin) threw a three-inning simulated game, but manager Tony La Russa said he was throwing under control. The Cardinals might give Suppan spot starts when he's back to keep giving Garcia extra rest down the stretch. ... Pujols has 37 career homers against Milwaukee, fourth-most after breaking a tie with St. Louis batting coach Mark McGwire.
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