Francisco Rodriguez #57 of the Milwaukee Brewers reacts after he...

Francisco Rodriguez #57 of the Milwaukee Brewers reacts after he struck out Yadier Molina #4 of the St. Louis Cardinals to end the bottom of the eighth inning during Game 4 of the National League Championship Series. (Oct. 13, 2011) Credit: Getty Images

ST. LOUIS -- It took nearly three decades, but the Brewers finally won a road playoff game with Thursday night's 4-2 victory over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. And in doing so, they ensured that the NLCS will return to Miller Park this weekend.

Milwaukee's eight-game losing streak dated to the 1982 World Series, also against the Cardinals. Randy Wolf helped end that futility by allowing two runs in seven innings, the result of solo homers by Matt Holliday and Allen Craig. He walked one and struck out six.

"I felt those two home runs were actually good pitches," said Wolf, who earned his first postseason victory in four career starts. "I thought I was throwing strikes and I felt I was confident to where I could keep them at that score."

The Brewers rallied from a 2-0 deficit to tie it off Kyle Lohse in the fourth on Jerry Hairston Jr.'s RBI double and a run-scoring single by Yuniesky Betancourt. Ryan Braun snapped a 2-2 tie in the fifth with an RBI single off reliever Mitchell Boggs.

"It feels great," Braun said of punching their ticket back to Milwaukee. "But these guys are tough. They are not going to be intimidated by coming to Miller Park by any means, either."

Francisco Rodriguez, as usual, provided some suspense in the eighth. After a one-out single by David Freese, Prince Fielder made a nifty grab of Hairston's skipped throw for the second out.

With Freese at second, K-Rod battled Yadier Molina during a seven-pitch at-bat that ended with him whiffing on a 78-mph curve. K-Rod strutted off the mound pumping his fist.

"I don't know how to describe the feeling -- it was adrenaline taking over," Rodriguez said. "There's no room to make any mistakes."

K-Rod has not allowed a run in four innings in this postseason, giving up three hits and striking out seven. For his career, Rodriguez has not surrendered an earned run in eight career LCS appearances, a span of 82/3 innings.

John Axford pitched a scoreless ninth, allowing a pinch-hit single by Lance Berkman with two outs before getting the final out for the save.

Tony La Russa's masterful use of his bullpen was a popular topic before Game 4. The previous night, the Cardinals' manager squeezed four perfect innings from four relievers after Chris Carpenter's exit. Even so, La Russa said he'd prefer not to have to play puppetmaster.

The Cardinals didn't have that luxury in Game 4, and after Lohse couldn't hold a 2-0 lead, La Russa pulled him with one out in the fifth. Nyjer Morgan was on third base after his leadoff double and a groundout, so La Russa called on Boggs to face Braun.

Asked about that quick hook, La Russa replied, "We had a chance to win today. This is October. This is not the season when this series is over, you have to play another 20 days or something. It's real simple."

Boggs got two quick foul balls, and after a pitch in the dirt, Braun fouled off another one. Boggs came back with a 96-mph fastball and Braun drove in the go-ahead run with a single to leftfield.

The Cardinals avoided further trouble when Ryan Theriot turned a diving stop of Fielder's hard grounder into a double play. But a costly error by Theriot in the sixth allowed the Brewers to take a 4-2 lead.

Rickie Weeks' leadoff single was followed by Hairston's second double, and St. Louis was in a jam again. Boggs got Betancourt on a grounder to short and La Russa summoned 43-year-old Arthur Rhodes to face George Kottaras, who slapped a ground ball to the right side of the infield. Theriot charged but bobbled the ball, negating any play at the plate or first base.

More MLB news