The Milwaukee Brewers scored 12 runs on 19 hits as they blasted the St. Louis Cardinals 12-2 Friday night in the opening game of a four game weekend series at Busch Stadium.

The Brewers scored 5 in the 3 rd inning and 1 in the 4 th before the Cards got on the board with a run in the bottom of the 4 th .  Milwaukee then put the game out of reach with 4 more runs in the 5 th .

Five Brewers had multiple hit games, led by Kevin Mench, who went 4 for 5 with 3 runs scored. Corey Hart, who went 3 for 6, belted his 15 th home run of the year. Aaron Miles and Gary Bennett each had a pair of hits for the Redbirds.

Claudio Vargas (9-2) pitched 8 innings, allowing 2 earned runs on 9 hits to pick up the win for Milwaukee. Cardinals’ starter Mike Maroth (5-6), gave up 7 earned runs on 11 hits in 4 innings to take the loss.

The two teams play a day/night doubleheader on Saturday. In the first contest, Brad Thompson (6-4) goes to the mound for St. Louis against Milwaukee’s Manny Parra (0-0).  In the nightcap, Anthony Reyes (0-10) tries for his first win for the Redbirds against the Brewers’ Chris Capuano (5-6).