Photo is credited to Getty Images.
In the final weekend before the All-Star break, the Cardinals met the Brewers at Miller Park in Milwaukee for a three-game series, the team’s second three-game series in a week.
Game One: Brewers 4, Cardinals 3 — WP: Jeremy Jeffress (2-2) LP: Trevor Rosenthal (2-4)
Jonathan Villar lined a single in the bottom of the ninth inning to plate the game’s winning run for the Brewers, beating the Cardinals, 4-3, for their first walk-off victory of 2016.
Michael Wacha started the game for the Cardinals and, other than allowing three solo home runs — including two to Chris Carter — turned in a fine, 6.2-inning outing.
On the other side, Jimmy Nelson started for Milwaukee, spinning six frames and allowing two earned runs.
With the Brewers leading 3-2 in the eighth, Yadier Molina hit his second homer of the year, a solo shot off Milwaukee reliever Will Smith to tie the game at three.
A walk and sacrifice bunt into the ninth inning, Trevor Rosenthal tweaked his left hamstring and had to leave the game. Seung Hwan Oh was brought in from the bullpen. Oh hit a batter, recorded an out, and then served up an RBI single to Villar.
The Cardinals challenged the play, one where Tommy Pham made a strong throw home in an attempt to cut down the runner, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, but the call was upheld.
-After being hit by a comebacker on his right foot, Michael Wacha left the game in the seventh inning with a contusion.
-Left fielder Matt Holliday twisted his left ankle in the third inning and exited later in the game when it tightened up.
Game Two: Cardinals 8, Brewers 1 — WP: Carlos Martinez (8-6) LP: Chase Anderson (4-10)
Carlos Martinez fanned eleven in his five innings of work, enough of an effort to take home his eighth win of the year, beating Chase Anderson and the Brewers on Saturday by an 8-1 final score.
Anderson made it through four innings for the Brewers and, despite a pinch count of 94, walked five batters and struck out just as many, implying that he was able to record a handful of quick outs.
The game wasn’t much of a blowout until the ninth inning, when the Cardinals scored five times off Michael Blazek and Jhan Marinez. In the frame, Aledmys Diaz cranked a three-run homer, his thirteenth of the year.
The Brewers’ lone run of the afternoon came on Kirk Nieuwenhuis’ RBI single in the bottom of the third, one of only four hits that Martinez allowed. Martinez’s start was followed by Tyler Lyons, Matt Bowman, and Seth Maness, who all recorded hitless outings.
-With two thefts on Saturday, Jonathan Villar became the third player in the Brewers’ history to have at least 30 stolen bases at the All-Star break.
-Catcher Alberto Rosario, an eleven-year veteran of the minor leagues, recorded a hit in his first at-bat at the major-league level, a single in the top of the ninth inning.
Game Three: Cardinals 5, Brewers 1 — WP: Mike Leake (6-7) LP: Junior Guerra (6-2)
Backed by seven strong innings from Mike Leake, the Cardinals took the rubber game of their series with the Brewers, 5-1.
Leake struck out ten batters in his start, one where he limited the Brew Crew to one earned run on six hits. The Brewers scored their only run of the game in the first inning on an RBI single off the bat of All-Star Jonathan Lucroy.
The Cardinals received a pair of two-RBI days from their five- and six-hole hitters, Matt Adams and Randal Grichuk; Adams and Grichuk each hit their tenth homer of the year.
Junior Guerra, the Brewers best starting pitcher thus far, started for Milwaukee and gave up three runs — including the two homers — in his near-six-inning outing.
-After recording his first big-league knock on Saturday, Alberto Rosario tabbed his first major-league start, taking the place of Yadier Molina behind the plate.
-The Cardinals’ win on Sunday marks the team’s fourteenth consecutive series with the Brewers that the Cardinals have not lost.
This week, Petco Park in San Diego will be the site of Major League Baseball’s annual Home Run Derby and All-Star Game, occurring Monday and Tuesday, respectively. All teams will resume regular season play on Friday, July 15. The Cardinals will be in St. Louis to host the Marlins for three; the Brewers will be in Cincinnati for a three-game date with the Reds.