St. Louis at Milwaukee

St. Louis
W: B. Thompson (8-6) L: C. Villanueva (8-5)
HR: STL - A. Pujols (32)   MIL - None

Brewers miss chance to gain on Cubs with testy loss to Cards wire reports

MILWAUKEE -- Time is running out on the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Brewers wasted a chance to cut their NL Central deficit to one game, giving up a first-inning home run to Albert Pujols in a testy 7-3 loss Wednesday night to the St. Louis Cardinals that saw two more hit batters and a pair of ejections.

"We're in a situation where we no longer control our own destiny, so we pretty much are in a must-win every day," said Ryan Braun, who drove in all three of Milwaukee's runs.

Chicago maintained a two-game division lead with four games to play despite a 7-4 loss at the Florida Marlins. Milwaukee starts a season-ending four-game series Thursday at home against San Diego.

Thursday's scheduled starter, 21-year-old Yovani Gallardo, said that will be the most important outing of his life.

"They're all important now," he said.

Reliever Brian Shouse, who came in after Chicago's game had been decided, allowed three inherited runner to score.

"Any time you can see that the Cubs already lost, the game was right there within our reach," Shouse said. "For this to happen, it was very disappointing."

A night after Jeff Suppan threw a high, inside pitch at Pujols, causing St. Louis manager Tony La Russa and Brewers manager Ned Yost to exchange heated words, there was more inside pitching.

Both benches were warned about throwing at each other in the second inning after Brad Thompson (8-6) plunked Prince Fielder on the right shoulder with a high fastball. Fielder got up and stared at the Cardinals dugout while plate umpire Tom Hallion walked him all the way down to first before issuing his warnings.

"I was just trying to throw the ball in to him," Thompson said. "I wasn't trying to hit him."

In the eighth, Pujols was plunked on the elbow by Brewers reliever Seth McClung, who was ejected along with Yost. The Cardinals went on to score four runs with two outs.

"It's not the first guy I've hit, not the first walk. Why do you think Tampa traded me?" McClung said. "It happens sometimes with me. The ball just gets out of my hand and flies away."

La Russa was also diplomatic.

"That wasn't intentional," he said. "They were down by one run. It's not a good time to do that."

Pujols' home run, which gave him 100 RBI for the seventh consecutive season, set an early tone. He maintained he wasn't motivated by the previous night's events.

"That wasn't even on my mind," he said. "I knew it slipped away from him."

Braun's RBI double put Milwaukee ahead in the second, but St. Louis went ahead to stay in the third when Ryan Ludwick doubled off Carlos Villanueva (8-5) following an intentional walk to Pujols.

Villanueva never looked comfortable in six innings, allowing three runs, five hits and four walks.

Pujols, recovering from a strained left calf muscle, hit his 32nd home run and became the first player to reach 30 home runs and 100 RBI in seven consecutive seasons at the start of his career.

Milwaukee used five relievers in the eighth as the game, and perhaps the season, slipped away.

Derrick Turnbow forced in a run with a bases-loaded walk to Kelly Stinnett, and Shouse allowed a two-run double to So Taguchi and an infield RBI single to Aaron Miles.

Milwaukee had its chances early. The Brewers loaded the bases in the second before Corey Hart's inning-ending flyout.

With two on and no outs in the third, Damian Miller grounded into a double play and Villanueva struck out. With two out and two outs in the fourth, Hart fouled out to the catcher.

Thompson, trying to solidify a spot in the 2008 rotation, allowed two unearned runs and five hits in six innings, retiring his final seven batters. The runs were unearned because of a throwing error by Stinnett on Villaneuva's sacrifice in front of the plate.

"This time of year, they're ticking off. But we still have four games left," Yost said. "We had opportunities to score offensively, and we couldn't get a big hit with two outs."


  • Pujols has 282 home runs and 858 RBI along with a .331 career batting average.
  • Ted Williams was the last player to hit at least 100 RBI in each of his first seven seasons, doing so from 1939-49, not counting his war service years, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
  • A day after saying C Johnny Estrada (torn meniscus) would be available to pinch hit, Yost said it was wishful thinking.
  • The Cardinals won the season series 8-7.
Copyright 2017 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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With a chance to gain a game on the Cubs, Prince Fielder and the Brew Crew fall on their faces.  (AP)
With a chance to gain a game on the Cubs, Prince Fielder and the Brew Crew fall on their faces. (AP)

Players of the Game

R. Braun
AB 5
R 0
H 3
HR 0
St. Louis

A. Pujols
AB 3
R 3
H 2
HR 1

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St. Louis Cardinals
Brendan Ryan, SS2000120 .293
   a- Scott Spiezio, PH0000100 .264
    Ryan Franklin, P0000000 .500
    Jason Isringhausen, P0000000 .000
Rick Ankiel, CF5000015 .276
    Brian Barden, SS0000000 .182
Albert Pujols, 1B3321101 .325
Ryan Ludwick, RF5012023 .270
Skip Schumaker, LF5120012 .319
Miguel Cairo, 3B3100201 .259
Kelly Stinnett, C2101211 .176
Brad Thompson, P2010001 .167
   b- Russell Branyan, PH1000010 .196
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   d- So Taguchi, PH-CF1012000 .290
Aaron Miles, 2B4121011 .298
a-walked for Ryan in the 8th
b-struck out for Thompson in the 7th
c-announced for Flores in the 8th
d-doubled for Edmonds in the 8th
2B - Ryan Ludwick (22, Villanueva), So Taguchi (14, Shouse)
HR - Albert Pujols (32, Villanueva)
SH - Brendan Ryan (3)
RBI - Albert Pujols (100), Ryan Ludwick 2 (51), Kelly Stinnett (5), So Taguchi 2 (27), Aaron Miles (32)
2-OUT RBI - Albert Pujols (26), Ryan Ludwick 2 (18), Kelly Stinnett (2), So Taguchi 2 (9), Aaron Miles (14)
CS - Skip Schumaker (1, 2nd base by Villanueva/D. Miller)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Cairo-Pujols
E - Miguel Cairo (6, Misplayed grounder), Kelly Stinnett (4, Throwing(Ground rule))
St. Louis Cardinals
Brad Thompson (W,8-6) 6520330 4.73
Brian Falkenborg (H,1) 0.1000000 5.19
Randy Flores (H,12) 0.2000010 4.33
Ryan Franklin 1000020 2.76
Jason Isringhausen 1111110 2.43
HBP - Fielder (by Brad Thompson), Hall (by Brad Thompson)
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Milwaukee Brewers
Rickie Weeks, 2B4100112 .233
J.J. Hardy, SS5110002 .276
Ryan Braun, 3B5033011 .325
Prince Fielder, 1B2000201 .290
Corey Hart, RF4000017 .292
Geoff Jenkins, LF3010100 .260
Bill Hall, CF3000013 .257
Damian Miller, C4110011 .240
Carlos Villanueva, P2000011 .077
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   b- Joe Dillon, PH1000010 .353
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DP - Braun-Weeks-Fielder
Milwaukee Brewers
Carlos Villanueva (L,8-5) 6533431 3.99
Scott Linebrink 1000030 3.56
Ray King 0.1000000 4.70
Seth McClung0011000 4.66
Derrick Turnbow 0.1133210 4.63
Brian Shouse0200000 3.02
Chris Spurling 0.1000100 4.66
Greg Aquino 1100020 4.85
IBB - Pujols by Carlos Villanueva
HBP - Pujols (by Seth McClung)
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Villanueva 85-51, Scott Linebrink 15-11, Ray King 3-2, Seth McClung 1-0, Derrick Turnbow 19-8, Brian Shouse 11-6, Chris Spurling 7-2, Greg Aquino 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Villanueva 9-4, Greg Aquino 1-0
Batters Faced - Carlos Villanueva 25, Scott Linebrink 3, Ray King 1, Seth McClung 1, Derrick Turnbow 4, Brian Shouse 2, Chris Spurling 2, Greg Aquino 4
Game Information
Attendance - 32411
Game Time - 3:12
Temperature - 69
Umpires - Home - Tom Hallion, First Base - Bruce Dreckman, Second Base - Phil Cuzzi, Third Base - Tim Welke