MILWAUKEE -- Paul Goldschmidt was hoping to swing for baseball history when Brewers manager Craig Counsell took the bat out of his hands.
Though he felt for the boo-bird Cardinal fans behind the visiting dugout, the move wasn't much of a surprise to Goldschmidt.
"We're still in a tight game there," the six-time All-Star said. "They're going to do what they think is best."
Goldschmidt hit three home runs and then was intentionally walked in the ninth inning, leaving him one shy of the big league record in St. Louis' 9-5 victory over Milwaukee on Friday night.
Counsell signaled for the free pass with one out and a runner on second, his team trailing by four runs. Cardinals fans in enemy territory cheered as Goldschmidt approached the plate, and booed even louder when Counsell sent Goldschmidt to first.
"Trying to win the game," Counsell said. "There's a base open. It's the logical thing to do."
Goldschmidt thought it was a practical decision.
"You understand the situation," Goldschmidt said. "You understand what (the fans) were thinking, but you also understand that we're out there trying to win. That's the number one thing. Not anything individual or personal."
Goldschmidt had four hits and drove in five in his second game with St. Louis. He was 0 for 3 with three strikeouts in his debut Thursday after an offseason trade from Arizona. Set to test free agency after this season, Goldschmidt instead signed a $130 million deal to stay with St. Louis through 2024 last weekend.
Goldschmidt crushed a fastball from Freddy Peralta in the first inning for a two-run shot. He hit a solo drive off Taylor Williams (0-1) in the sixth, then another two-run homer against Jacob Barnes in the seventh.
"When those guys are locked in, the mistakes are likely to get hard," Counsell said.
It was Goldschmidt's second career three-homer game and his first since tallying a career-best six RBI against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Aug. 3, 2017.
Goldschmidt also flashed some nifty glove work at first base. He snared Yasmani Grandal's one-out hot shot down the line, threw to second for an out and caught the return throw to end the sixth.
Matt Carpenter had two hits for St. Louis. His 1,000th career hit drove in a run in the seventh.
John Gant (1-0) pitched 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.
Goldschmidt is the first player to record a multihomer game in his first two contests as a Cardinal since Buddy Bradford in 1975 at Philadelphia, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Cardinals: INF Jedd Gyorko (right calf sprain) is expected to join the team in Pittsburgh on Monday and come off the 10-day injured list for the home opener April 4.
Brewers: RHP Corey Knebel, shut down during spring training with a right ulnar collateral ligament injury, chose to have season-ending Tommy John surgery instead of trying to rehab the elbow. ... RHP Jeremy Jeffress, who is on the 10-day IL with right shoulder weakness, is scheduled to throw in Arizona before advancing to Triple-A San Antonio. ... CF Lorenzo Cain jammed his thumb attempted to steal second base in the fifth. He was examined by a trainer but remained in the game. Counsell said that Cain's thumb was fine.
Cardinals: RHP Dakota Hudson makes his first start and fourth career appearance against the Brewers. Last season, he was 4-1 with a 2.63 ERA in 26 appearances.
Brewers: RHP Brandon Woodruff makes his first career start and third appearance against the Cardinals. He had six stints with Milwaukee in 2018 and finished 3-0 with a 3.61 ERA and one save in 19 games, four of them starts.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports
Using technology to steal signs in MLB
Eduardo Perez gives an in-depth breakdown of how technology is used to steal signs and then relay information to the batter during a game.
Teixeira: Integrity of game lost if electronic devices were used
Mark Teixeira calls for massive punishments if it is proved that players used electronic devices to get tipped of pitches.
Setting sights on spring training, Jose Altuve confident embattled Astros will 'be in World Series'
While second baseman Jose Altuve was open and eager to address the sign-stealing scandal at the Astros' winter fan festival, third baseman Alex Bregman was stoic and stingy with his words as the team sets its sights on spring training.
Cardinals' Harrison Bader confident he'll start in center field this season
Harrison Bader is confident he'll be in center field for the St. Louis Cardinals when the season begins. "It's my position. I'm going to take it. There's no sense in talking about it," he said.
Hall of Fame says deceased players on MLB's ineligible list won't be on ballots
The Baseball Hall of Fame on Saturday said that death does not open the door for players on MLB's ineligible list to be placed on the ballot for entry into Cooperstown.
J.D. Martinez confident Red Sox will be cleared in investigation, as 'there was nothing going on here'
At the Red Sox Winter Weekend fan festival, Boston slugger J.D. Martinez reiterated his confidence that his club will be cleared in MLB's investigation into sign stealing.