MILWAUKEE - Brandon Kintzler was so close to getting out of the eighth inning with the Brewers' slim lead intact.
Getting that third out against the St. Louis Cardinals, however, was too tough.
Matt Carpenter hit an RBI single with two outs in the eighth, putting the Cardinals ahead during a four-run rally Monday night in an 8-5 win over Milwaukee.
"We think we're in a good position with good pitchers coming in and the next thing you know, they get runs back," Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said.
The Cardinals got seven of their 16 hits in the big inning, capped by pinch-hitter David Freese's two-run double. St. Louis won for the ninth time in 11 games.
With two outs in the eighth and the Brewers leading 5-4, rookie Kolten Wong keyed the rally with an infield single, ruled safe on a call that the Brewers disputed.
"All of a sudden a guy gets an infield hit and here we go again," Kintzler said. "If the call goes the other way, we aren't standing here. It can go either way."
Pinch-hitters Daniel Descalso and Matt Adams, Carpenter and Carlos Beltran followed with four consecutive singles.
Kintzler (3-1) was removed with the Brewers trailing 6-5. Freese then hit the first pitch from Burke Badenhop for a two-run double that made it 8-5.
Kintzler said he thought Wong was out at first.
"I was standing right there, and I thought he was out," Kintzler said. "But from his (umpire Marty Foster's) angle — it's a short hop — it's a tough call from his angle. I have a better angle. If you slow it down on replay, you have to really slow it down. It's a tough play. From his angle, it's tough."
Carlos Beltran and Jon Jay homered for St. Louis and Yadier Molina had four hits.
Aramis Ramirez snapped a 1-for-18 skid since returning from the disabled list Aug. 13 with a two-run homer off Michael Wacha (2-0) in the seventh to give the Brewers a 5-4 lead.
Kintzler gave up four runs and six hits while getting just two outs.
Edward Mujica, who was unavailable during the weekend series at the Chicago Cubs because of a tired arm, pitched the ninth for his 32nd save in 34 chances.
The Brewers had two runners on in the ninth but Scooter Gennett grounded out to end the game.
Norichika Aoki hit his seventh homer for Milwaukee.
Milwaukee starter Marco Estrada allowed four runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out four in six innings.
Jay's two-run homer off Estrada in the sixth snapped a 2-2 tie. It was his seventh homer this year and second in two days after hitting a three-run shot in St. Louis' 6-1 win over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.
Estrada said he threw a curveball - a pitch he didn't want to throw - to Jay.
"It's not frustrating to give up runs, it's going to happen, but it's frustrating that I threw pitches I didn't want to throw," he said. "I second-guessed myself and I got beat really bad on the one to Jay. I threw a pitch I didn't want to throw. There was no conviction behind it. I made the pitch and I got hurt."
Beltran snapped an 0-for-7 skid with his 21st home run in the first. He had three hits.
NOTES: Brewers CF Carlos Gomez remained out of the starting lineup Monday after spraining his right knee on Thursday night. Roenicke said he could play during the Cardinals series. ... Brewers 1B Juan Francisco struck out four times for the second consecutive game.