ST. LOUIS -- John Axford's streak is still intact. Somehow.
The Brewers' closer had runners on first and third with no outs on Sunday but was able to close out a 3-2 victory over the Cardinals for his fifth save of the season and 48th consecutive regular-season save.
That is the fourth-longest streak in Major League history. He had been tied with Brad Lidge at 47. Only Eric Gagne (84), Tom Gordon (54) and Jose Valverde (51) have converted more consecutive saves.
"For me, it's more about the wins than anything else," Axford said. "The streak is great and everything, but more on the team side, I think. If not for the eight innings before that, I'm not going to be in the game, and obviously if I don't get a save we're not going to get the win unless it goes into extras. I'd rather lock it down and get the win for the team."
It took a strange twist for Axford to pull out Sunday's win. With runners on first and third, Axford struck out David Freese and Yadier Molina. Carlos Beltran broke for second base on Molina's strikeout and catcher Jonathan Lucroy threw down to second. Shortstop Alex Gonzalez cut off Lucroy's throw and threw home in time to nab pinch-runner Tyler Greene at home plate.
"I remember one time at Miller Park," Axford said, "where I started off with a leadoff triple and we had a one-run lead and luckily, somehow, we got out of that with good defense behind me making some plays and keeping him at third base. You really just have to trust your stuff at that point and count on a little luck at that time, too."