Brewers Offense Keeps Rolling, but Can’t Keep Up With Cardinals
By Bill Berg
Aug 2, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Justin Masterson (63) throws to Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Ryan Braun (8) during the fifth inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Friday’s win against the St. Louis Cardinals assured the Milwaukee Brewers that they would leave their three-game series with the Cardinals on top in the National League Central division.
The series continued tonight with former Cardinal Kyle Lohse (11-5, 3.07 ERA) taking on new Cardinal Justin Masterson (4-6, 5.51 ERA). Gerardo Parra made his first start in a Brewers uniform, getting a spot start for Khris Davis and Scooter Gennett returned to the line up.
The Brewer offense kept their roll going, scoring seven runs, but that wasn’t enough as Lohse had one of the worst outings of his career, giving up nine runs en route to a 9-7 Cardinals win.
The Brewers opened the scoring in the first inning. With one out Parra worked a 10-pitch walk and stole second. Two batters later Aramis Ramirez knocked a single down the line in left to bring in Parra.
The Cardinals answered back in the bottom half of the inning when Kolten Wong knocked a one-out home run (7) to center.
Masterson worked around a Lyle Overbay walk in the top of the second before the Cardinals took the lead and ran with it in the bottom of the inning.
Jhonny Peralta led off with a home run (15) to left. Lohse quickly got two outs after that, but a Tony Cruz walk extended the inning. Masterson followed with a single and Matt Carpenter walked to load the bases.
Wong struck again with a single to right to bring in Cruz and Masterson. Matt Holliday followed with a single of his own to bring in Carpenter, Parra’s throw to third to get Wong was wide of the bag and got away from Ramirez to bring in Wong and make it 6-1.
Both teams went down in order in the third inning.
Ryan Braun and Ramirez knocked back-to-back singles to lead off the fourth inning for the Crew. A fielder’s choice ground out by Jonathan Lucroy erased Ramirez at second and put runners at the corners for Overbay.
Overbay drew a four-pitch walk to bring up Scooter Gennett. Gennett knocked a double to the wall in left-center to bring in Braun and Lucroy and cut the lead to three runs.
Jean Segura followed with a slow chopper to short to bring in Overbay. Segura was out at first for the second out of the inning. Lohse struck out to end the frame.
Cruz led off the bottom of the fourth with a double. He moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from Masterson. Carpenter followed with a fly ball to left for the second out, but it was deep enough to bring in Cruz.
There was a play at the plate and Parra made a great throw but Cruz beat it home. A Wong pop out to second ended the inning with St. Louis on top 7-4.
Carlos Gomez led off the top of the fifth with an infield single to short. His grounder took one high bounce and by the time it came down for Peralta there was no chance to get Gomez.
Gomez stole second and advanced to third on a Parra sacrifice bunt. He came in to score on a Braun ground out to third. Gomez took off for the plate when Carpenter threw to first, and Carpenter’s high throw meant the Cards had no chance to get Gomez at the plate.
Ramirez followed with a triple down the line in right. Oscar Taveras made a diving play on it and missed.
A fan in foul territory interfered with the ball, and the umpires awarded Ramirez third base instead of second because Taveras wouldn’t have gotten the ball in time to stop him if the fan hadn’t interfered. The inning ended on a Lucroy ground out to short.
Holliday got a second chance to lead off the bottom of the fifth after Overbay dropped a fly ball in foul territory to extend his at bat. Holliday followed with a single up the middle on the next pitch.
Matt Adams followed with a walk to put two on for the first time in a three innings. Peralta singled to left to load the bases for the Cardinals with nobody out.
Taveras knocked a double back up the middle to bring in Holliday and Adams and make the score 9-5. That was it for Lohse, as Ron Roenicke called for Brandon Kintzler to replace the struggling starter.
Peter Bourjous reached on a fielder’s choice ground as Kintzler’s first batter. The Brewers got lead-runner Peralta out in a run-down between third and home for the first out. Bourjous reached second on the play and Taveras took third.
Cruz grounded to Ramirez a third, like Bourjous did, and Ramirez threw Taveras out at the plate for the second out of the inning. Kintzler struck out Masterson to end the inning.
The final line on Lohse was nine, seven earned, on nine hits and three walks in just four innings of work. He struck out two and gave up two home runs.
Masterson worked around a Gennett single in the top of the sixth. Marco Estrada came in to pitch the bottom half of the frame for the Crew, and Elian Herrera took over at second base.
Estrada worked around a Wong double in the bottom of the inning and got out without any further damage.
Herrera led off the seventh with a single against new Cardinals pitcher Kevin Siegrist. Gomez followed with a double to drive in Herrera and cut the lead to three runs.
Gomez stole (22) third on the next pitch. He came in to score two batters later on a Braun ground out to make it 9-7.
Estrada stayed on the mound for the seventh for the Crew and Parra made a diving catch on the Cards’ Peralta for the first out in the inning. Estrada walked Taveras to give the Cardinals another base runner.
After a Bourjous pop out, Cruz singled to right to put two on for pinch-hitter Daniel Descalso but he struck out to end the inning.
Pat Neshek and his 0.83 ERA came on to pitch the eighth for the Cardinals. He opened the inning by strike out Lucroy on three pitches. He got Overbay to pop out to second before facing pinch-hitter Rickie Weeks, who he struck out on three pitches.
Tom Gorzelanny came on to pitch the eighth for Milwaukee after two shut out innings by Estrada. He plunked Carpenter on a 2-2 count to lead off the inning.
Wong followed with a line out to short ahead of a Holliday strike out. Adams singled to extend the inning, but Peralta struck out to end the frame.
Segura led off the top of the ninth with a double down the line in right off Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal. Rosenthal hit Herrera with his next pitch to put two on for Gomez.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny challenged the hit-by-pitch call and Herrera was called back from first base and it was ruled a foul ball. Herrera ended up grounding out, moving Segura to third.
Gomez struck out on three pitches for the second out. Rosenthal struck out Parra to cap a nine-pitch at bat and end the game.
Lohse took the loss for Milwaukee. Masterson got the win for the Cardinals. Rosenthal got the save. The teams will finish their series tomorrow at 1:15 when Matt Garza (7-7, 3.74 ERA) takes on new Cardinal John Lackey (11-7, 3.60 ERA).