ST. LOUIS (AP) — Marco Estrada is making up for lost time.
The Milwaukee right-hander continued his string of strong performances in the Brewers' 5-1 loss at St. Louis on Wednesday. Estrada allowed two hits and one earned run in 6 2-3 innings. He did not allow a hit until Matt Carpenter singled with two outs in the sixth. Estrada left the game with a 1-0 lead.
Estrada is 2-0 with a 2.39 ERA in six starts since coming off the disabled list Aug. 7 after missing 62 days with a strained left hamstring muscle.
"Obviously, any time you have a good game, you're happy," he said. "I just wish I would have started the season off a little better."
Estrada has nine quality starts in 18 starts this season. He has allowed one earned run or fewer in four of his last six starts.
Against the Cardinals, Estrada retired the side in order in four of the first five innings.
"Marco came out with great command and good stuff," Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. "He did a really nice job. It's unfortunate, he's had a couple of great starts and we didn't win the games."
Estrada, who struck out six and walked three, was pitching on 12 days rest. He struggled early in the season giving up 13 earned runs over two outings in late April and early May.
But he has come on of late and Wednesday's performance was another in a series of impressive outings.
"The (stint) on the DL hurt me, but I'm trying to make the best of it," Estrada said. "I've got a couple starts left and I hope I can keep throwing well."
Unfortunately, the Brewers didn't back him with enough offense. It marked their third loss in five games.
Matt Adams had a two-run home run and the Cardinals broke open a tight game with four in the eighth. St. Louis won its fifth consecutive game to maintain a one-game lead over Pittsburgh and a three-game advantage on Cincinnati in the NL Central. The Pirates finished a three-game sweep at Texas and the Reds knocked off the Chicago Cubs earlier in the day.