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Milwaukee Brewers Spoil Cardinals Home Opener

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33. 5. 76. Final. 4

The St. Louis Cardinals welcomed in the Milwaukee Brewers for their 2015 season home opener.  The game set a new attendance record for the Cardinals, with the official number coming in at 47,875.  The large crowd got to witness a sloppy defensive game by both sides, and the Brewers spoiling the Cardinals home opener 5-4.

Matt Garza started for the Brewers and picked up his first victory of the year.  Garza struggled with his command most of the day, but only managed to surrender two runs, one earned, while pitching 5 2/3 innings.  He struck out four while walking five, and scattering 6 hits on the afternoon.

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Each team committed two errors in the game, and it could’ve easily been more, for each side.  On the very first at-bat of the game, Carlos Gomez reached on a ground ball to Cardinals second baseman, Kolten Wong.  Wong, mishandled the ground ball, as it appeared to be hit right off the end of the bat. Gomez would later score the games first run on a fielder’s choice groundout by Adam Lind.  The Cardinals second error of the game came in the 7th inning. With Carlos Gomez on second base after knocking in Scooter Gennett with a double down the third base line, Jonathan Lucroy grounded a ball back up the middle.  Wong fielded the grounder but the throw sailed over the first baseman’s head, allowing Gomez to score.  Lucroy was awarded a single, but no RBI on the play.

The Brewers weren’t much better defensively, committing two errors of their own.  With the Brewers leading 2-1 in the bottom of the 4th, Garza walked the first two hitters of the inning, bringing up his counterpart, Adam Wainwright.  Attempting to advance the runners, Wainwright dropped down a bunt that was fielded by Aramis Ramirez.  He went to third, with Jean Segura covering, for one out, but Segura’s throw to first sailed over Lind’s head and went down the first base line.  Wong, who was on first base, came all the way around to tie the game.

In the 7th inning, Matt Holliday led off the inning with a ground ball to Segura, who again threw it over the head of Lind.  Holliday would come around to score in the inning.  Segura also had another throw in the game that sailed over the head of Lind, but it was on the backside of a double play attempt, so the error wasn’t recorded.  The Brewers could’ve had another error in the 7th inning, as Ryan Braun misplayed a ball.  The play could’ve been recorded as a hit and an error, but instead, was ruled a double and 2 RBI for Jhonny Peralta.

The Cardinals could’ve added another error onto their totals as well.  In the second inning, Khris Davis led off with a single.  The next hitter, Segura, drove a ball to right center.  Cardinals right fielder Jason Heyward overran the ball and had it hit off of his wrist, and the play was ultimately ruled as a double for Segura, moving Davis to third. The next batter up, Gennett, grounded out, scoring Davis, and pushed the Brewers lead to 2-0.

Wainwright was clearly off of his game, as well, but managed to get through 7 innings.  With little help from his defense, he surrendered 5 runs, but only 3 earned.  He allowed 8 hits, while striking out 4 and walking 1.  After his opening day start and win, Wainwright dropped to 1-1, on the brief season.

Carlos Gomez had two of the Brewers 8 hits, including his 4th double of the season.  Lind and Segura also had doubles for the Brewers, while Lucroy, Braun, Davis, and Gennett each had singles.  The Brewers used 4 relievers to finish out the game, behind Garza.  Will Smith came in and struck out the only batter he faced to get out of the 6th inning.  Jeremy Jeffress pitched the 7th, surrendering two runs, but only one earned.  Jonathan Broxton pitched a scoreless 8th inning, giving up a hit while recording a strikeout.  Francisco Rodriguez came in for his first save opportunity of the 2015 season, and retired the three Cardinals hitters in order to record the save.  The first save of the 2015 season was also the 350th for the career of Rodriguez.

Both teams will enjoy an off day tomorrow, before returning for game two of the three game series on Wednesday.  The game will start at 7:15 cst with the Brewers sending Wily Peralta to face the Cardinals’ Lance Lynn.  The Brewers will have Wednesday and Thursday to try and pick up their first series win of the season.

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