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Updated: Monday, March 31, 2003 10:38 PM EST
Milwaukee Brewers
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9 12 2
St. Louis Cardinals
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11 12 1
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ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- While Kerry Robinson rewarded the St. Louis Cardinals for their faith in him, Scott Rolen fulfilled a boyhood dream.

Robinson's two-out bunt single plated the go-ahead run and Rolen's three-run homer capped a six-run, eighth-inning rally as the Cardinals posted an 11-9 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers .

St. Louis began the eighth trailing, 7-5, but Orlando Palmeiro tripled in a run and scored on Fernando Vina 's double, knotting the score. A passed ball moved Vina to third and Robinson dropped a bunt down the first base line for a single.

Robinson was the final player to make the Cardinals' roster, beating out fellow outfielder So Taguchi , and paid dividends in his second at-bat.

"I've been on third and Vina's done it a couple of times the last few years, and I thought we'd switch it up a little bit," Robinson said. "I pretty much came to terms, thinking I was going to Triple-A a couple of nights ago. I'm just excited to be here and want to contribute in any way I can."

"What he did today is the reason he got the nod," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "That's what he's done for us the past couple of years. He can generate a lot of excitement offensively."

After Albert Pujols was intentionally walked, Rolen drove the next pitch from DeJean (0-1) over the left field fence for an 11-7 lead.

"I have 161 games left, you can't let one bother you," said DeJean, the Brewers' closer. "You just have to keep your chin up. I just didn't make the quality of pitches I needed to make."

An native of Jasper, Indiana, Rolen regularly made the 200-mile trek to Busch Stadium as a child for Opening Day.

"Afterwards, I don't remember what happened," Rolen said of his home run. "I thought I was going to have a heart attack running around the bases. That's the situation as a little kid you always want to be in. You can't waste opportunities like that."

St. Louis' Russ Springer (1-0) allowed a solo shot to Eddie Perez - the catcher's first homer since 1999 - but struck out two in the eighth for the win.

Richie Sexson 's two-run blast off former Brewer Cal Eldred in the ninth made it 11-9, but Milwaukee could not complete the rally and lost for the eighth time in its last 11 games in St. Louis.

In a game the featured six homers, Royce Clayton 's three-run blast in the second and Eric Young 's solo shot in the third gave the Brewers a 4-0 lead.

Young was 3-for-5 with a double and two runs scored.

Tino Martinez , who did not homer last season until May 1, delivered a two-run blast in the fourth and the Cardinals rallied for a 5-4 lead after six innings.

"I felt a lot better in spring training this year and more comfortable with the team," Martinez said. "My mechanics are better. I felt good at the plate all spring. I'm looking forward to having a big year. I need to give these fans something to cheer about. I think I disappointed them last year."

Perez's home in the eighth gave Milwaukee a 7-5 advantage before St. Louis erupted in the bottom half.

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