Milwaukee at St. Louis

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Milwaukee «2241000009100
St. Louis001000030461

Cardinals' collapse continues, loss to Brewers shrinks lead to half-game

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

ST. LOUIS -- Eight days ago, the St. Louis Cardinals were ready to cruise to their third straight NL Central championship. Now, only a half-game remains of what had been a seven-game cushion.

Jason Marquis got just six outs and St. Louis fell behind by eight runs in the third inning, losing 9-4 to the Milwaukee Brewers Thursday night. In a swoon that could become one of baseball's historic collapses, St. Louis (81-77) has lost eight of nine.

"It's turned into a sprint," Scott Rolen said. "It's hard to put a finger on it. If we could put a finger on it, I think we'd turn it around."

Manager Tony La Russa, who's been calm throughout the skid, said he feels no more pressure than he did on the first day of spring training.

"We had a really healthy lead and we've got it down to a half-game, and that's painful," La Russa said. "But it's still in our grasp."

Houston (81-78), which beat Pittsburgh 3-0 for its ninth straight win, closes with a three-game series at Atlanta while the Cardinals play the Brewers three more times. If it's needed to decide the division, the Cardinals will host San Francisco on Monday in the makeup of a Sept. 17 rainout.

Jeff Weaver, 0-3 with a 6.82 ERA at home, starts for the Cardinals on Friday against Chris Capuano.

Bill Hall was 3-for-4 with a two-run homer in the first off Marquis (14-16), who allowed six runs, five hits and two walks in two-plus innings. Marquis is 0-4 with an 8.46 ERA in five September starts and was booed by the sellout crowd of 40,313 as he left.

"I wish I came out with a better approach and got ahead of hitters and made better pitches, but I didn't," Marquis said. "It was one of those nights."

Marquis has a 6.02 ERA overall and might not get another start, even if the Cardinals reach the playoffs.

"This is not a good time to ask because that was a disappointing performance," La Russa said. "But I know he's disappointed, so I don't want to pile on him. There's a lot of piling on when somebody struggles or a team struggles."

Doug Davis (11-11) won for the first time in four starts despite walking eight -- one shy of his career high -- in six innings. He allowed one run and two hits, striking out seven.

"It's fun to kind of be in the mix and have a say in who's going to the playoffs," Davis said. "I just wish we were on the other end. When you dance around eight walks and get a win out of it -- I'll take that any day."

None of walks hurt him. La Russa thinks the early lead was a factor.

"I think there's a good chance our position players sagged a little bit when you look at that mountain you've got to climb," La Russa said.

Rolen and Preston Wilson homered for the Cardinals. Pujols was 0-for-4 in the opener of a four-game series with a popup, a double-play ball, a walk and a foulout.

Hall homered for the second time in three games and is 15-for-28 in his last eight games with three homers and nine RBI.

"A lot of people have a lot of interest in this series, especially the Houston Astros," Hall said. "It's fun to come in here and have something on the line."

Marquis has allowed 30 first-inning runs in 33 starts.

"I don't feel more vulnerable," he said. "Whether the numbers say that or not is a different story."

La Russa called Marquis' woes a "head-scratcher."

"Early in the game it's just beating him up a lot," La Russa said. "His location is poor. I don't care how good your stuff is, you've got to locate in this league."

Mike Rivera hit an RBI double in the second and scored on Tony Gwynn Jr.'s single to make it 4-0. After the Brewers got their first two runners on in the third, Josh Hancock relieved and allowed consecutive RBI doubles to Corey Hart and David Bell, Rivera's sacrifice fly and Gwynn's run-scoring infield single.

Rolen had been in a 4-for-33 slump before hitting his 22nd homer off Chris Spurling in a three-run eighth. Wilson added a two-run double.

Notes

  • St. Louis SS David Eckstein was a late lineup scratch after doing drills on the field before the game, missing his fifth straight start. He grounded out as a pinch hitter in the third. La Russa said he didn't think Eckstein would start Friday.
  • Hall's homer was the first allowed by the Cardinals in 38 innings at home.
  • Davis topped 200 innings for the third consecutive season and joined teammates Capuano and Dave Bush as the first Brewers trio to make it to 200 since 1993, when Cal Eldred, Jaime Navarro and Ricky Bones did it.
  • Davis threw 114 pitches, half of them strikes. He walked nine on April 23 against the Reds.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Scott Rolen's face says it all after another loss, the Cardinals' eighth defeat in nine games.  (AP)
Scott Rolen's face says it all after another loss, the Cardinals' eighth defeat in nine games. (AP)

Players of the Game
Milwaukee

B. Hall
AB 4
R 3
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
St. Louis

P. Wilson
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
 

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Milwaukee Brewers
Anthony Gwynn, CF5022010 .286
Tony Graffanino, 2B4100102 .280
Prince Fielder, 1B5000021 .271
Bill Hall, SS4332100 .272
Geoff Jenkins, RF2100201 .264
    Jose Capellan, P0000000 .000
Corey Hart, LF5122012 .280
David Bell, 3B3221200 .271
Mike Rivera, C4112005 .263
Doug Davis, P3000025 .046
   a- Gabe Gross, PH1000010 .275
    Chris Spurling, P0000000 .000
    Brian Shouse, P0000000 .000
    Brady Clark, RF0000000 .263
Totals3691096716 
a-struck out for Davis in the 7th
Batting
2B - Bill Hall (39, Sosa), Corey Hart (13, Hancock), David Bell (27, Hancock), Mike Rivera (9, Marquis)
HR - Bill Hall (34, Marquis)
SF - Mike Rivera (2)
RBI - Anthony Gwynn 2 (4), Bill Hall 2 (84), Corey Hart 2 (31), David Bell (62), Mike Rivera 2 (23)
2-OUT RBI - Anthony Gwynn (2), Bill Hall 2 (19)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Hall-Graffanino-Fielder
Milwaukee Brewers
Doug Davis (W,11-11) 6211871 4.91
Chris Spurling 1.1333111 5.06
Brian Shouse 0.1000010 3.76
Jose Capellan 1.1100010 4.22
Pitches-Strikes - Doug Davis 114-57, Chris Spurling 25-15, Brian Shouse 5-3, Jose Capellan 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Doug Davis 7-3, Jose Capellan 1-2
Batters Faced - Doug Davis 27, Chris Spurling 8, Brian Shouse 1, Jose Capellan 5
St. Louis Cardinals
Preston Wilson, LF4123120 .261
So Taguchi, CF1000211 .268
   a- Chris Duncan, PH-RF2000002 .293
Albert Pujols, 1B4000102 .329
Juan Encarnacion, RF-CF4010112 .276
Scott Rolen, 3B4111123 .294
Ronnie Belliard, 2B3110100 .276
Aaron Miles, SS4110003 .266
Gary Bennett, C2000112 .223
   b- Scott Spiezio, PH0000100 .267
    Josh Kinney, P0000000 .000
Jason Marquis, P0000000 .179
    Josh Hancock, P0000000 .000
   c- David Eckstein, PH1000000 .292
    Chris Narveson, P0000000 .000
    Jorge Sosa, P1000010 .125
   d- Jim Edmonds, PH1000012 .261
    Brad Thompson, P0000000 .500
   e- John Rodriguez, PH1000013 .306
    Yadier Molina, C0000000 .216
Totals3246491020 
a-flied out for Taguchi in the 7th
b-walked for Bennett in the 8th
c-grounded out for Hancock in the 3rd
d-struck out for Sosa in the 6th
e-struck out for Thompson in the 8th
Batting
2B - Preston Wilson (25, Capellan), Juan Encarnacion (24, Davis)
HR - Preston Wilson (16, Davis), Scott Rolen (22, Spurling)
RBI - Preston Wilson 3 (70), Scott Rolen (94)
2-OUT RBI - Preston Wilson 2 (29)
SB - Preston Wilson (10, 3rd base off Davis/Rivera), Juan Encarnacion (6, 2nd base off Davis/Rivera)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
E - Aaron Miles (17, Throwing)
St. Louis Cardinals
Jason Marquis (L,14-16) 2566321 6.02
Josh Hancock 1322010 4.09
Chris Narveson 0.1111200 5.40
Jorge Sosa 2.2100120 5.48
Brad Thompson 2000020 3.54
Josh Kinney 1000000 3.57
HBP - Jenkins (by Chris Narveson)
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Marquis 43-27, Josh Hancock 17-12, Chris Narveson 34-18, Jorge Sosa 40-20, Brad Thompson 18-11, Josh Kinney 16-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brad Thompson 3-1, Josh Kinney 2-1
Batters Faced - Jason Marquis 14, Josh Hancock 6, Chris Narveson 5, Jorge Sosa 10, Brad Thompson 6, Josh Kinney 3
Game Information
Attendance - 40313
Game Time - 3:25
Temperature - 61
Umpires - Home - Jeff Nelson, First Base - Chris Guccione, Second Base - Tim Timmons, Third Base - Derryl Cousins