Cardinals attempt to even set with Brewers

1:11 PM, Sep 8, 2012   |    comments
St. Louis Cardinals
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(Sports Network) - The St. Louis Cardinals weren't able to outlast the Milwaukee Brewers in the opener of this set, so they'll try to gain a measure of revenge tonight in the middle portion of a three-game series.

Brewers slugger Ryan Braun clubbed a solo home run off Cardinals reliever Lance Lynn in the top of the 13th inning to lead his team to victory. Lynn was saddled with the loss for the Cardinals, who still possess one of the final two wild card spots in the National League.

Kyle Lohse pitched 6 1/3 innings of two-run ball, struck out five and issued a pair of walks in a no-decision. Yadier Molina homered and Jon Jay compiled three hits in the loss, the Cardinals' seventh in 10 tries.

The Cardinals, who hold a 1 1/2-game lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers for the final wild card berth, left the bases loaded in the 11th when Adron Chambers grounded out to end the inning.

"More than anything else that's what sticks out," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of his club going 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position. "The opportunities we had with men in scoring position and just couldn't come through. That was the game."

Jake Westbrook gets the nod for St. Louis and is 1-2 in his last four starts since a personal five-game winning streak. Westbrook did not factor in the outcome of a 4-3 setback at Washington on Sunday, as he yielded two runs in 5 1/3 innings. He is 13-10 in 27 starts this season with a 3.93 ERA.

Westbrook is 2-3 in seven career starts against the Brewers and defeated them back on April 27 in a 13-1 blowout at Busch Stadium. The right-hander tossed seven innings of one-run ball in that one.

Milwaukee is making a run towards the postseason and sits six games off a wild card spot. It has won three of four and 14 of its last 18 games.

Braun set a new career high with his 38th home run of the season last night and Martin Maldonado finished 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Braun, Rickie Weeks and Corey Hart finished with two hits apiece for the Brewers.

"This is the type of win that feels more meaningful to us as a team," Braun said. "It truly tests your resiliency and perseverance."

Brandon Kintzler tossed a scoreless 12th to secure the win and John Axford worked around a one-out walk in the ninth to close the game, which featured a 2-hour, 20-minute rain delay, and pick up his 26th save of the season.

Yovani Gallardo held the Cardinals to two runs in six innings in the no- decision, striking out six and walking none. Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez hopes to return to the lineup tonight and has been bothered by a lower back issue. He is 11 RBI short of 100 for the season and hasn't played since Wednesday's win at Miami.

Taking the mound for Milwaukee tonight will be Mike Fiers. Fiers has lost three of his last five trips to the mound and previously pitched in Monday's 7-3 setback at Marlins Park. He was tagged for six runs and six hits in 3 1/3 innings, falling to 8-7 in 18 games (17 starts) with a 3.11 ERA.

Fiers, a right-hander, faced St. Louis for the first time in his career on July 16 in a 3-2 loss and did not figure into the decision. He tossed seven scoreless innings, walked four batters and scattered four hits.

St. Louis is still 8-5 against Milwaukee this season, going 5-2 at Busch Stadium.


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