MILWAUKEE — Christian Yelich became the first MVP to homer in the first three games of the following season, Josh Hader closed things out with an immaculate inning and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 on Saturday night.
Travis Shaw and Mike Moustakas also homered off Cardinals starter Dakota Hudson, and Brandon Woodruff (1-0) struck out five while pitching five innings of two-run ball.
Yelich made a sliding catch in right field in the top of the first inning, then took Hudson deep for a solo shot in his first at-bat.
Hudson (0-1) allowed seven hits and two walks, striking out six over 4 1/3 innings in his first career start.
Hader struck out three batters on nine pitches for his second save. Only four pitchers accomplished the feat last season: Kevin Gausman, Max Scherzer, German Marquez and Zac Rosscup.
Brewers right-hander Alex Wilson struck out Paul Goldschmidt to end the seventh and followed with a scoreless eighth in his Brewers debut.
A day after hitting three home runs, Goldschmidt had an RBI single but struck out twice. Kolten Wong drove in the Cardinals’ other run with a double in the fourth, part of a three-hit day.
Cardinals: OF Harrison Bader got a day off after going 2 for 8 with a home run through the first two games of the season. With Bader out, Tyler O’Neill made his first start of the season.
Brewers: OF Ryan Braun was left out of the starting lineup but appeared as a pinch-hitter, flying out to left in the sixth.
Cardinals: RHP Michael Wacha is 5-0 with a 4.19 ERA in 11 appearances (10 starts) against Milwaukee, including a 2-0 mark and 3.80 ERA in five appearances (four starts) at Miller Park.
Brewers: RHP Corbin Burnes makes his first major league start Sunday in the series finale. Burns opened eyes as a rookie last season, going 7-0 with a 2.61 ERA in 30 relief appearances then allowing just a pair of runs over nine postseason innings.