Thursday, April 16, 2015

Cardinals edge Brewers for first home victory

Behind two RBIs from Matt Holliday and three hits from Yadier Molina, the Cardinals displayed a steady attack against Brewers starter Wily Peralta to even the three-game series with a 4-2 victory on Wednesday night. It was St. Louis' first win of the season at Busch Stadium.
Peralta, who gave up eight earned runs in five starts against the Cards last season, allowed half that many over the first four frames of this five-inning effort. He found himself in a two-run hole six pitches into his night after the Cardinals opened with three straight hits.
"Six pitches, you're just warming up," Peralta said. "You look up at the scoreboard, and two runs in. … They were swinging early at everything, but I wasn't executing my pitches. If I execute, it doesn't matter if they swing early or not." 
The Cardinals would string together three consecutive hits again in the fourth inning, the last of which was an RBI single by Molina. With three hits off Peralta, Molina doubled his season total.
The support was sufficient for Cards starting pitcher Lance Lynn, who kept the Brewers to 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position to earn his 50th career win and first this season. The Brewers worked Lynn's pitch count to 99 to knock him out after five innings, but they couldn't capitalize against St. Louis' bullpen. Milwaukee stranded 11 runners, including three at third base.
"I wasn't sharp," Lynn said. "I threw a lot of pitches, a lot of deep counts. When they did swing, they were fouling balls off. When you don't have your best command and you get out of there with only giving up one run, that helps." More >
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
An early advantage: Holliday extended his season-opening hitting streak to seven games by lacing a two-run single in the first. All of his hits have been singles, though this one was also the first of four the Cards would have with a runner in scoring position, a season high. They scored first for just the third time in seven games.
"He's got a nice approach, and we're happy with where he is right now," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "But he's hitting the ball hard when guys are in scoring position, and he's driving in the big runs."
Coming up empty: Scooter Gennett and Peralta struck out looking with two runners aboard in the second inning to set the tone for what would be a frustrating night at the plate for the Brewers. They finished 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position and left a season-high 11 men on base, spoiling multihit efforts for Jonathan LucroyRyan BraunAramis Ramirez and Jean Segura. Braun and Ramirez, who entered the night with only one RBI apiece, doubled their season totals.  
"There were some good things today," manager Ron Roenicke said, "but too spread out." More >
Rosey shuts the door: Though it took 24 pitches to navigate the ninth, Trevor Rosenthal notched his third save and closed four innings of work from the Cardinals bullpen by getting Adam Lind, representing the potential tying run, to fly out. Rosenthal was the sixth reliever Matheny used in the game. More >
Gomez exits: The Brewers were already having a tough night when Carlos Gomez pulled up limping after reaching first base in the ninth on a fielder's choice. Gomez, the Brewers' center fielder, leadoff hitter and emotional spark plug, walked off with assistant athletic trainer Dave Yeager. His strained right hamstring will keep him out of the series finale. More >
HONORING NO. 42
As a part of the Jackie Robinson Day celebration, the Cardinals honored Dr. Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones Jr., one of the organization's first African-American scouts, during a pregame ceremony. His family was presented with a 1964 World Series ring to replace the one Jones lost before his death in 1989. More >
Roenicke was well aware how important Jackie Robinson Day is to Davis, so he met with the outfielder on Wednesday afternoon to discuss why Davis was absent from the starting lineup. More >
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The first replay of the season involving the Brewers came in Game No. 8, and it was an easy one. Right fielder Braun reached for a sinking Holliday line drive in the third inning and was so sure he'd made a shoestring catch, he didn't even think to look for an out sign from first-base umpire John Hirschbeck, who ruled no catch. So Roenicke challenged the call, which was overturned in a tidy one minute, six seconds.
WHAT'S NEXT
Brewers: Heading into Thursday's 12:45 p.m. CT series finale at Busch Stadium, Mike Fiers is 2-1 with a 1.30 ERA in six career games (four starts) against the Cardinals.
Cardinals: John Lackey will start for St. Louis in what will be just his fourth career outing against the Brewers in the right-hander's 13-year career.

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