Photo is credited to Getty Images.
This week, the Cardinals and Brewers played three games at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Cardinals took two of three, and, with a win in the series finale, the Brewers snapped their six-game losing streak.
Game One: Cardinals 6, Brewers 5 — WP: Miguel Socolovich (1-0) LP: Tyler Thornburg (5-5) SV: Seung Hwan Oh (14)
A simple sacrifice bunt off the bat of Yadier Molina turned into an ‘E-5’, one that allowed the Cardinals to score their sixth run of the evening and take Monday’s series opener over the Brewers, 6-5.
After Randal Grichuk tied the ballgame with a two-run homer in the eighth, the Cardinals put runners at first and second base and nobody out in the top of the ninth inning, and Molina opted to move both of the runners into scoring position and sacrifice just one out. Molina’s bunt was fielded by the pitcher, Tyler Thornburg, and flipped to the third baseman, Jonathan Villar. Villar recorded the force out on Greg Garcia, the runner from second when the play began, but it was Villar’s errant throw that allowed Stephen Piscotty, the first-base occupant when the play began, to come all the way around and give the Cardinals a 6-5 advantage.
In the early going, the game gave off the vibe that it would take a miscue to solve, and that vibe proved to be correct, given Villar’s error. The vibe was established by the game’s starters, as Zach Davies of the Brewers and Carlos Martinez of the Cardinals each turned in quality starts and whiffed nine and thirteen batters, respectively.
Game Two (F/10): Cardinals 2, Brewers 1 — WP: Seung Hwan Oh (4-2) LP: Corey Knebel (0-2) SV: Zach Duke (2)
It was Randal Grichuk’s RBI single in the tenth inning that gave the Cardinals the necessary advantage for a 2-1 victory over the Brewers in the middle game of the three-game set on Tuesday night.
Grichuk, after tying Monday’s game with a two-run home run off Brewers reliever Corey Knebel, lined Knebel’s 1-2 delivery in the top of the tenth inning to right field, allowing Jeremy Hazelbaker to score the go-ahead run for the Cardinals.
The game’s starters — Wily Peralta for Milwaukee and Adam Wainwright for St. Louis — matched each other very evenly throughout Tuesday’s contest, as the right-handed pitchers each surrendered just one run on three hits through their seven-inning outings.
Game Three: Brewers 3, Cardinals 1 — WP: Matt Garza (5-6) LP: Luke Weaver (1-2) SV: Tyler Thornburg (6)
The Cardinals mustered a mere three hits and fell to Matt Garza and the Brewers on Wednesday night in the series finale, 3-1.
Garza shut the Cardinals down to three hits — two from Yadier Molina, including his fifth home run of the season — before being lifted in favor Carlos Torres and Tyler Thornburg, who each turned in scoreless frames of work.
The Brewers tallied all three of their runs in the bottom of the third inning against Cardinals rookie Luke Weaver. With two outs, Weaver committed a baseball sin by walking Garza, and things snowballed on the young hurler from there as Jonathan Villar doubled following the walk, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis teed off on a changeup to give the Brewers a sturdy lead with a three-run homer.
Cardinals: After an off day on Thursday, the Cardinals will play three games over the weekend with the Reds at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
Brewers: The Brewers, less than a week removed from being swept in a four-game series by the Pirates in Milwaukee, will venture to the Steel City for a three-game set with the Bucs, looking to reverse the trend.