St. Louis at Milwaukee

Scoreboard
St. Louis (56-60) «00206002212190
Milwaukee (62-57)300000010471

Cards shred Brew Crew, gain ground in NL Central

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

MILWAUKEE -- The St. Louis Cardinals were hurting the last time they were in Milwaukee. This time around, they're climbing back into the pennant race.

The Cardinals pounded out a season-high 19 hits off of sloppy Milwaukee Brewers pitching in a 12-4 victory on Tuesday night, drawing the Cardinals closer to contention in the NL Central and spoiling the Brewers' 1982 World Series team reunion.

It was a stark contrast to the emotions that were swirling in the Cardinals' clubhouse when they came to Milwaukee on April 30 for their first games after relief pitcher Josh Hancock died in an automobile accident.

"Everybody takes hits, but we've had an unending bunch of body blows," La Russa said. "So it's been nothing but a gut check, and the guts have responded."

With Hancock's jersey hanging in their dugout and bullpen as a tribute more than three months ago, the Cardinals were swept by the Brewers before boarding a plane to attend his memorial service. The three-game sweep relegated St. Louis to fifth place in the NL Central, and a return to the playoffs was the farthest thing from their minds.

Now the reigning World Series champions have clawed their way back into the division race. With Tuesday night's victory, St. Louis trails Milwaukee by 4½ games, and second-place Chicago by three.

La Russa said he is proud of the way his players have handled adversity, but isn't going to get too excited about their recent progress until they having a winning record. With the victory, St. Louis is 56-60.

"When that happens, then you look around and say, 'Hey, where are we?,"' La Russa said.

The Brewers still lead the division, but continue to sputter and weren't exactly inspired by a pregame ceremony to commemorate the 25-year anniversary of what remains the franchise's only World Series appearance.

Both teams wore throwback uniforms to commemorate the 1982 series, in which the Cardinals defeated the Brewers in seven games -- making Tuesday's result look vaguely familiar.

Brewers starter Chris Capuano (5-10) hasn't won since May 7, a streak of 15 starts without a victory that includes 10 losses and five no-decisions. Brewers manager Ned Yost said he and general manager Doug Melvin might consider taking Capuano out of the starting rotation.

"The streak is up to 15 now," Yost said. "He's laboring through it right now. I'll talk to Doug. We've got to see what our options are. He might be our best option. It's hard to make a rash decision after that."

Capuano said he feels like he's only one or two good pitches away from getting out of situations such as the six-run fifth inning on Tuesday, and doesn't know anything about his status as a starter.

"I haven't spoken to anybody about it so I'm not sure," Capuano said. "I haven't thought about it too much. It's not for us to worry about. It's for them to discuss and then decide."

With Milwaukee leading 3-2 in the fifth inning, Capuano hit Ryan Ludwick to load the bases with one out. Two runs then scored when a potential double-play ball glanced off the glove of third baseman Ryan Braun.

Edmonds singled to load the bases again, and Yost removed Capuano from the game.

Milwaukee reliever Manny Parra then walked in a run, gave up a two-run single to Cardinals pitcher Kip Wells and allowed a sacrifice fly to David Eckstein, putting the Cardinals ahead 8-3. Wells was hitting eighth in the lineup on Tuesday night, the 10th straight game manager Tony La Russa used a pitcher in that spot.

Wells (6-13) allowed a solo home run to Prince Fielder, his 37th, and a two-run shot to Geoff Jenkins in the first inning. It was Jenkins' 208th career home run as a Brewer, tying him for second on the team's all-time home run list with Gorman Thomas -- an icon of the 1982 team who was in town for the reunion. Another prominent '82 Brewer, Robin Yount, has the franchise lead with 251.

But Wells didn't give up a hit after that until Braun's triple in the sixth. Wells said the Cardinals' road trip is another opportunity to jump back in the division race.

"We've had certain times where it's like, 'This is a big week for us. This is a big month for us,"' Wells said. "We just haven't necessarily put it together from top to bottom."

Chicago lost 6-5 to Cincinnati on Tuesday, allowing Milwaukee to maintain a 1½ game division lead over the Cubs. But the Cardinals suddenly are lurking.

"I don't think we ever counted them out," Braun said. "But at same time I feel like we're still in first place. We're still in a position we want to be in and we still control our own destiny."

Notes

  • Commissioner Bud Selig, who owned the Brewers in 1982, addressed the crowd during the pregame ceremony but did not speak to reporters afterward.
  • Yost said he has not heard anything from the league office about a potential punishment for Fielder, who was involved in a confrontation with umpire Wally Bell during the Brewers' 6-4 loss at Houston on Sunday.
  • Cardinals pitcher Mark Mulder will likely make a minor-league rehab start on Thursday. Mulder has missed 116 games as a result of left shoulder surgery.
  • Braun, hitting in the cleanup spot for the first time, went 3-for-4 and hit his 23rd home run of the year. He has an 11-game hitting streak.
 
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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Prince Fielder sends off his NL-best 37th homer, but it's not enough to stop the Brewers from losing.  (AP)
Prince Fielder sends off his NL-best 37th homer, but it's not enough to stop the Brewers from losing. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

K. Wells
IP 6.0
H 4
ER 3
BB 1
K 5
St. Louis

J. Edmonds
AB 6
R 1
H 4
HR 0
RBI 3
 

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St. Louis Cardinals
David Eckstein, SS5221015 .297
Rick Ankiel, RF6010035 .318
Albert Pujols, 1B4330100 .317
Ryan Ludwick, LF5112015 .253
Scott Rolen, 3B5221002 .263
   a- Aaron Miles, PH-2B1110000 .298
Jim Edmonds, CF6143012 .254
Yadier Molina, C5122112 .270
Kip Wells, P3022011 .318
   b- So Taguchi, PH1000011 .299
    Russ Springer, P0000000 .000
   c- Chris Duncan, PH1000002 .275
    Troy Percival, P0000000 .000
    Brad Thompson, P0000000 .150
Brendan Ryan, 2B-3B2110301 .348
Totals4412191159  
a-singled for Rolen in the 9th
b-struck out for Wells in the 7th
c-fouled out for Springer in the 8th
Batting
2B - Ryan Ludwick (15, Capuano), Jim Edmonds (11, Spurling)
SF - David Eckstein (6)
RBI - David Eckstein (20), Ryan Ludwick 2 (35), Scott Rolen (51), Jim Edmonds 3 (32), Yadier Molina 2 (22), Kip Wells 2 (5)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Ludwick 2 (9), Jim Edmonds 2 (15)
Team LOB - 13
Fielding
DP - Miles-Eckstein-Pujols
St. Louis Cardinals
Kip Wells (W,6-13) 6433152 5.24
Russ Springer 1100010 2.82
Troy Percival 1111011 2.70
Brad Thompson 1100000 5.06
HBP - Jenkins (by Kip Wells)
Pitches-Strikes - Kip Wells 95-61, Russ Springer 11-7, Troy Percival 14-9, Brad Thompson 15-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kip Wells 7-6, Brad Thompson 1-1
Batters Faced - Kip Wells 24, Russ Springer 4, Troy Percival 4, Brad Thompson 3
Milwaukee Brewers
Rickie Weeks, 2B4000032 .206
J.J. Hardy, SS4000000 .272
Prince Fielder, 1B4111010 .288
Ryan Braun, 3B4231010 .354
Geoff Jenkins, LF3112000 .277
Corey Hart, RF4000012 .273
Bill Hall, CF4010010 .261
Johnny Estrada, C4010001 .283
Chris Capuano, P0000100 .242
    Manny Parra, P1000000 .167
   a- Craig Counsell, PH1000001 .229
    Matt Wise, P00000001.000
    Chris Spurling, P0000000 .000
Totals3347417  
a-popped out for Parra in the 7th
Batting
3B - Ryan Braun (5, Wells)
HR - Prince Fielder (37, Wells), Ryan Braun (23, Percival), Geoff Jenkins (17, Wells)
RBI - Prince Fielder (89), Ryan Braun (60), Geoff Jenkins 2 (50)
2-OUT RBI - Prince Fielder (29), Ryan Braun (26), Geoff Jenkins 2 (10)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Hardy-Weeks-Fielder, Jenkins-Estrada-Hardy
E - Ryan Braun (18, Misplayed grounder)
Milwaukee Brewers
Chris Capuano (L,5-10) 4.1876160 5.23
Manny Parra 2.2411330 3.10
Matt Wise 1422100 3.75
Chris Spurling 1322000 4.91
HBP - Pujols (by Chris Capuano), Ludwick (by Chris Capuano)
WP - Chris Capuano (6)
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Capuano 96-61, Manny Parra 37-18, Matt Wise 31-20, Chris Spurling 16-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Capuano 5-2, Chris Spurling 1-2
Batters Faced - Chris Capuano 24, Manny Parra 14, Matt Wise 8, Chris Spurling 6
Game Information
Attendance - 37518
Game Time - 3:25
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Kerwin Danley, First Base - Doug Eddings, Second Base - Mike Everitt, Third Base - Dana DeMuth