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Milwaukee at St. Louis

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Milwaukee (57-47)132000000681
St. Louis (47-53) «0020101037121

Cards stage three-run rally in ninth to take Game 1 from Brewers

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Cardinals' biggest comeback of the season came at the expense of Francisco Cordero, the Milwaukee Brewers' closer who's nearly perfect at home but extremely hittable on the road.

Ryan Ludwick's RBI single capped a three-run ninth inning against Cordero for the Cardinals, who trailed by six runs early before rallying to a 7-6 victory on Saturday in the first game of a day-night doubleheader. It was the team's biggest rally since coming from six down to beat Milwaukee 10-6 on June 9, 2006.

"I think we got what we deserved," manager Tony La Russa said. "It was a tough start but we didn't get discouraged."

Cordero (0-4) has 32 saves in 37 chances, and all five blown saves have come on the road. He has a minuscule 0.33 ERA at home, and an 8.62 ERA on the road. He has a blown save and a loss in his last two appearances, after giving up two runs in 1 1/3 innings on Thursday in Cincinnati.

Cordero declined to talk to reporters through a team spokesman.

"Good hitting," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "He's one of the best closers in baseball this year."

The NL Central-leading Brewers have lost nine of their last 11 on the road and are 21-30 overall away from Miller Park. They're an NL-best 36-17 at home.

Russ Springer (5-1) pitched the ninth for the Cardinals, who are 2-3 during a seven-game homestand against the two teams they're chasing in the NL Central. St. Louis had lost four in a row to the Brewers by a combined score of 35-5 but got six innings of one-hit ball from its bullpen.

Brian Falkenborg replaced an ineffective Brad Thompson and worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth. He allowed one hit in three innings.

"You always think zero until they score, and then you think one," he said. "Fortunately for me they didn't score that inning and I was able to eat up two more innings for the guys."

Pinch hitter Chris Duncan flared a double just inside the left-field line with one out in the ninth to start the rally and scored on Albert Pujols' single. Scott Rolen's RBI double tied it and he scored easily on Ludwick's hit.

"I've got to credit the guys in front of me in that last inning," Ludwick said. "I never would have been in that situation, or had that opportunity, if not for clutch hits before me."

The Cardinals scored five of their runs with two outs.

Ryan Braun was 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI for the Brewers to back rookie Manny Parra, who pitched six strong innings and hit a two-run double in his first career start.

Braun thought the Brewers, up 6-0 in the third inning, might have relaxed.

"I feel like recently we've had quite a few games similar to this when we score early and then we kind of let our guard down a little bit," Braun said. "We can't do that anymore."

Yost disagreed with that assessment.

"It's never a tendency to shut it down," Yost said. "It wasn't like we weren't trying, we just shut down and were having a little bit of a party in between innings."

Juan Encarnacion had three RBI singles for the Cardinals. La Russa was ejected for the first time this season when third base umpire Greg Gibson tossed him for arguing a checked swing strike call that went against pinch-hitter Skip Schumaker in the sixth.

Encarnacion's third RBI single off Carlos Villanueva in the seventh cut the deficit to 6-4.

Parra, who threw a perfect game for Triple-A Nashville in June and began the year at Double-A Huntsville, allowed three runs -- one earned -- and six hits. His two-out two-run double off the base of the right-field wall in the third off Thompson was his first career hit and put Milwaukee ahead 6-0.

Braun hit his 18th homer in the first and adding a two-run single in the second. He's 12-for-24 with three homers and seven RBI in the first six games of a nine-game trip.

Thompson left with a blister on his right hand after walking Craig Counsell and Braun to start the fourth, his quickest exit of 13 starts this year. He threw 97 pitches and gave up six runs -- four earned -- and seven hits with four walks and is 0-1 in four starts this month.

Notes

  • Before the game, the Cardinals recalled Falkenborg from Triple-A Memphis and optioned RHP Kelvin Jimenez to Memphis.
  • The Cardinals are 23-25 at home after going 49-31 in the first year at new Busch Stadium.
  • Paid attendance of 45,089 kept the Cardinals' sellout streak alive at 128 consecutive games at new Busch, but there were 12,283 no-shows.
 
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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Albert Pujols and the rest of the Cards are eager to greet Ryan Ludwick after his game-winning hit.  (AP)
Albert Pujols and the rest of the Cards are eager to greet Ryan Ludwick after his game-winning hit. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

J. Encarnacion
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 3
Milwaukee

R. Braun
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
 
Milwaukee Brewers
Corey Hart, RF4100111 .283
Craig Counsell, SS4111100 .238
Ryan Braun, 3B4133110 .356
Prince Fielder, 1B4010124 .283
Bill Hall, CF4010101 .275
Geoff Jenkins, LF4000015 .258
Damian Miller, C3210103 .267
Tony Graffanino, 2B4100001 .238
Manny Parra, P2012000 .500
    Carlos Villanueva, P0000000 .200
   a- Kevin Mench, PH1000000 .284
    Derrick Turnbow, P0000000 .000
    Francisco Cordero, P0000000 .000
Totals3468665  
a-grounded out for Villanueva in the 8th
Batting
2B - Craig Counsell (10, Thompson), Manny Parra (1, Thompson)
HR - Ryan Braun (18, Thompson)
SH - Manny Parra (1)
RBI - Craig Counsell (19), Ryan Braun 3 (49), Manny Parra 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Craig Counsell (4), Ryan Braun 3 (20), Manny Parra 2 (2)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Counsell-Graffanino-Fielder, Counsell-Graffanino-Fielder
E - Ryan Braun (13, Misplayed grounder)
Milwaukee Brewers
Manny Parra 6631230 2.16
Carlos Villanueva (H,16) 1211100 3.73
Derrick Turnbow (H,26) 1000100 3.55
Francisco Cordero (BS,5; L,0-4) 0.2433000 3.38
HBP - Rolen (by Manny Parra)
WP - Carlos Villanueva (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Manny Parra 92-58, Carlos Villanueva 21-11, Derrick Turnbow 13-6, Francisco Cordero 29-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Manny Parra 5-10, Derrick Turnbow 1-1, Francisco Cordero 1-1
Batters Faced - Manny Parra 27, Carlos Villanueva 6, Derrick Turnbow 3, Francisco Cordero 6
St. Louis Cardinals
David Eckstein, SS3100100 .294
   a- Adam Kennedy, PH1000000 .224
So Taguchi, CF4120001 .298
   b- Chris Duncan, PH1110000 .292
Albert Pujols, 1B4122001 .315
Juan Encarnacion, RF5133001 .295
Scott Rolen, 3B3111103 .264
Ryan Ludwick, LF5011013 .245
Yadier Molina, C3010101 .247
Aaron Miles, 2B3110102 .282
Brad Thompson, P0000000 .158
    Brian Falkenborg, P1000011 .000
   c- Skip Schumaker, PH1000011 .300
    Troy Percival, P0000000 .000
   d- Jim Edmonds, PH1000000 .230
    Russ Springer, P0000000 .000
Totals35712743  
a-fouled out for Eckstein in the 9th
b-doubled for Taguchi in the 9th
c-struck out for Falkenborg in the 6th
d-flied out for Percival in the 8th
Batting
2B - Chris Duncan (16, Cordero), Albert Pujols (21, Parra), Scott Rolen (15, Cordero)
3B - Aaron Miles (1, Parra)
SF - Albert Pujols (6)
SH - Brad Thompson (5)
RBI - Albert Pujols 2 (67), Juan Encarnacion 3 (39), Scott Rolen (44), Ryan Ludwick (24)
2-OUT RBI - Juan Encarnacion 3 (16), Scott Rolen (14), Ryan Ludwick (6)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Pujols-Eckstein-Falkenborg
E - David Eckstein (12, Misplayed grounder)
St. Louis Cardinals
Brad Thompson 3764421 5.15
Brian Falkenborg 3100110 4.91
Troy Percival 2000010 3.07
Russ Springer (W,5-1) 1000110 2.84
WP - Brad Thompson (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Brad Thompson 97-56, Brian Falkenborg 35-22, Troy Percival 20-14, Russ Springer 18-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brad Thompson 6-2, Brian Falkenborg 4-3, Troy Percival 2-3
Batters Faced - Brad Thompson 21, Brian Falkenborg 10, Troy Percival 6, Russ Springer 4
Game Information
Attendance - 45089
Game Time - 3:12
Temperature - 83
Umpires - Home - Tony Randazzo, First Base - Angel Campos, Second Base - Charlie Reliford, Third Base - Greg Gibson