The Cardinals swept a series this week in Milwaukee, Wisconsin against the Brewers. St. Louis, who put up twelve runs in their previous four-game series, scored twice more in one less game. Talk about flipping a switch..
The Cardinals activated outfielder Matt Holliday off of the 15-day DL. He would not start a game in this series, but he did pinch-hit in Thursday’s game. He struck out.
The first game of the series was started by Ariel Pena and Carlos Martinez. The pair of Dominican Republic natives threw up zeros against one another for over four innings. Khris Davis put the first run on the scoreboard in the fifth, the inning in which he unloaded on a ball and sent it 412 feet to up his season’s home run count to twenty-one. The Cardinals tied it up in the sixth thanks to Jason Heyward’s second double of the evening and an RBI-single off the bat of Jhonny Peralta. Things would remain tied at one until the top of the tenth inning. Matt Carpenter reached base on Adam Lind’s fielding error. Enter Heyward. J-Hey sent a ball into Miller Park’s upper deck out in right field– his twelfth homer of the year– and gave St. Louis a 3-1 lead that they’d go to win by. Trevor Rosenthal earned his 44th save of the season.
Game two was started by Wily Peralta and Jaime Garcia. Two two-run homers off the bat of Tommy Pham and a Matt Carpenter solo shot gave the Cardinals a 5-0 lead by the time their fourth inning was in the books. Milwaukee made it interesting, though. Three singles and an error cleared a route for the first Brewer run to score. Then, Martin Maldonado stepped in the box. With two men on and a run already in, Martin jumped on a Jaime Garcia pitch. His fourth long ball of the year, a three-run shot, drastically sliced into the Cardinals 5-0 lead. 5-4, now. Would the game end that way? Surprisingly, it did. The Cards held on and won the game. Rosenthal earned a save, his second save in as many nights.
The third and final game was started by Jimmy Nelson and John Lackey. The Cardinal bats were wasting no time, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Tommy Pham tripled in Matt Carpenter, who led off the game with a single, and then Jhonny Peralta drove in Pham with a sacrifice fly. In the third inning, a pair of doubles off the bats of Pham and Carpenter plated the third run. A very scary moment on that play, unfortunately. Pham’s double hit off the back of pitcher Jimmy Nelson’s head. Nelson dropped, remaining on the ground for several moments. He, thankfully, was able to walk off the field with the help of some trainers. David Goforth entered the game and surrendered two hits and two more runs. Matt Carpenter, who would finish the game a triple shy of the cycle, added the sixth run of the game in the sixth inning on his twenty-third dinger of the year. John Lackey pitched masterfully. John maneuvered his way through the Milwaukee batting order for seven innings, shutting their bats down to five hits. Jean Segura made it interesting in the ninth, jacking a three-run bomb to cut his team’s 6-0 deficit in half. That was all, though. The Cardinals won the game, 6-3.
The Brewers will welcome the Cincinnati Reds to Miller Park where they’ll play three games. The Cardinals will head to the North side of Chicago’s Wrigley Field to play an impactful three-game series. Dan Haren and Lance Lynn are scheduled to start the series opener, a game that will be played on Friday (9/18) afternoon. The Cardinals sit 5.0 games ahead of the Pirates, the team the Cubs just took 3 of 4 from. The Cubs are only two games removed from Pittsburgh in the standings and, therefore, the first National League Wild Card spot.
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