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St. Louis at Milwaukee

Scoreboard
St. Louis (10-16)000000000051
Milwaukee (18-9) «00022000x440

Brewers lose Capuano but still sweep champion Cardinals

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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MILWAUKEE -- As the St. Louis Cardinals prepare to remember a lost teammate, they'd just as soon forget about their last three games.

The Cardinals lost 4-0 to the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday, leaving them swept and dazed in their first series since the death of relief pitcher Josh Hancock.

St. Louis has lost five in a row overall, and spent much of its three-game series in Milwaukee looking lost in the field and crossed up at the plate.

"You've got to fight through it," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "This club's proven it'll fight. That's why I'm confident we're going to improve."

But first, St. Louis must take another tough step in an emotional week. The Cardinals are off Thursday but will travel to Tupelo, Miss., to attend a memorial service for Hancock, killed in a highway wreck early Sunday.

La Russa said earlier that while attending the service won't be easy for the team, it's the right thing to do.

"It's hard to imagine that being a positive, but I think it's important to do," La Russa said. "I think it's important for his family and our organization to do it, but it won't be a positive day."

With three consecutive victories over the reigning World Series champions, Milwaukee has won nine of 11 overall and has the best record in baseball at 18-9. Prince Fielder hit a two-run single off Anthony Reyes (0-5) to help the Brewers earn their first home sweep of St. Louis since taking four games in April 2002.

"They have a pretty good team," Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols said. "They're young, but they know how to play the game and they can swing the bat. We knew that. Everybody knew that in the league coming into the season."

The Brewers won on Wednesday despite getting only three innings from starter Chris Capuano, who took a sharp comebacker off his right calf in the second and pitched one more inning before he was taken out of the game.

Brewers manager Ned Yost made the decision to pull Capuano, who wanted to keep pitching. Yost expects Capuano to make his next start.

Carlos Villanueva (2-0) pitched four scoreless innings in relief for the victory, allowing two hits and walking two.

"For him to come in and throw up zeros was huge," Capuano said. "It helped the hitters relax and put the ball in play."

Villanueva loaded the bases with one out in the sixth, but struck out Scott Spiezio and got Gary Bennett on a deep fly to left.

"He came in and held down the fort, and got the 'W' for himself," Yost said.

Matt Wise tossed two scoreless innings to complete the five-hitter, Milwaukee's first shutout of the season. The Cardinals were blanked for the third time.

Reyes struck out a season-high eight, but gave up four runs -- three earned -- in six innings.

"He pitched well, didn't deserve to lose," La Russa said.

Reyes said he expects the team to snap out of its slump soon.

"We're not going to go on like this all season," he said. "These guys are professionals, and everyone works hard on the team. It's just one of those things we have to go through right now."

La Russa isn't allowing the team to use Hancock's death as an excuse for its poor play -- mostly because the Cardinals weren't playing particularly well beforehand.

"That's obviously always going to be in the back of your mind the rest of the year, and a lot of people, the rest of our lives," outfielder Skip Schumaker said. "But once you step on the field, I think we've got to move on from that -- not put it past us, but we've got to compete when we're on the field. Before and after, obviously, you can dwell upon it. But during it, it's a competition out there and you've got to compete."

Pujols said the team has weathered tough times in the past. He was a member of the club when pitcher Darryl Kile died in 2002.

"Everybody knows the organization, we pull through," Pujols said. "I think the best thing is, you have a great group of guys here. It's not like you've got guys who don't care about what we're going through."

Reyes said he expects an emotional day on Thursday.

"It is, but I'm just thinking about baseball right now and trying not to think of anything else," he said.

Notes

  • Miller Park's retractable roof was open on a sunny, 55-degree day.
  • J.J. Hardy extended his career-best hitting streak to 13 games with a single in the fourth.
  • Pujols pushed his hitting streak to 11 games with a single in the first.
 
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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Chris Capuano goes down after three innings but his Brewers teammates get it done vs. the Cards.  (AP)
Chris Capuano goes down after three innings but his Brewers teammates get it done vs. the Cards. (AP)

Players of the Game
Milwaukee

P. Fielder
AB 3
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
St. Louis

A. Pujols
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
 
St. Louis Cardinals
So Taguchi, CF4010001 .294
Chris Duncan, LF3000111 .315
Albert Pujols, 1B4030000 .280
Scott Rolen, 3B3000002 .232
Scott Spiezio, RF3000114 .224
    Jason Isringhausen, P0000000 .000
Gary Bennett, C3000104 .333
Aaron Miles, 2B4000001 .255
David Eckstein, SS4000001 .220
Anthony Reyes, P2000000 .000
   a- Preston Wilson, PH1010000 .217
    Ryan Franklin, P0000000 .000
    Tyler Johnson, P0000000 .000
    Skip Schumaker, RF1000001 .244
Totals3205032  
a-singled for An. Reyes in the 7th
Batting
SB - Preston Wilson (2, 2nd base off Villanueva/D. Miller)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
E - Scott Spiezio (1, Dropped fly)
St. Louis Cardinals
Anthony Reyes (L,0-5) 6343480 5.46
Ryan Franklin 1000030 1.50
Tyler Johnson 0.2100000 0.87
Jason Isringhausen 0.1000000 2.79
Pitches-Strikes - Anthony Reyes 94-58, Ryan Franklin 13-9, Tyler Johnson 7-5, Jason Isringhausen 1-1
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Anthony Reyes 4-7, Tyler Johnson 1-1
Batters Faced - Anthony Reyes 26, Ryan Franklin 3, Tyler Johnson 3, Jason Isringhausen 1
Milwaukee Brewers
Rickie Weeks, 2B3100120 .238
J.J. Hardy, SS3110120 .306
Prince Fielder, 1B3012101 .274
Bill Hall, CF3110123 .253
Geoff Jenkins, LF4000015 .346
Corey Hart, RF4011001 .276
Damian Miller, C3000021 .241
Tony Graffanino, 3B3100000 .241
Chris Capuano, P0000000 .091
   a- Tony Gwynn, PH1000010 .333
    Carlos Villanueva, P1000001 .000
   b- Kevin Mench, PH1000010 .319
    Matt Wise, P0000000 .000
Totals29443411  
a-struck out for Capuano in the 3rd
b-struck out for Villanueva in the 7th
Batting
2B - Bill Hall (8, Johnson)
RBI - Prince Fielder 2 (18), Corey Hart (7)
2-OUT RBI - Corey Hart (3)
SB - Bill Hall (1, off An. Reyes/Bennett), Corey Hart (5, 2nd base off An. Reyes/Bennett)
Team LOB - 5
Milwaukee Brewers
Chris Capuano 3200010 2.90
Carlos Villanueva (W,2-0) 4200210 3.18
Matt Wise 2100100 2.92
HBP - Rolen (by Carlos Villanueva)
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Capuano 43-29, Carlos Villanueva 66-38, Matt Wise 27-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Capuano 4-4, Carlos Villanueva 1-10, Matt Wise 3-3
Batters Faced - Chris Capuano 11, Carlos Villanueva 17, Matt Wise 8
Game Information
Attendance - 23299
Game Time - 2:31
Temperature - 55
Umpires - Home - Dale Scott, First Base - Paul Emmel, Second Base - Dan Iassogna, Third Base - Ron Kulpa