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Braun doubles up on HRs to help Suppan, Brewers top Cards

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MILWAUKEE -- The ninth inning for the Milwaukee Brewers' new closer by committee was as adventurous as some of Eric Gagne's recent outings. There was one difference, though: The Brewers held on for the win.

With Gagne yanked from the closer's role Sunday after faltering in back-to-back outings, relievers Salomon Torres and Brian Shouse helped make Jeff Suppan's seven solid innings stand up by holding on for a 5-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

"I feel good about every reliever I've got down there," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "These guys make their money by being ready."

Ryan Braun homered twice for the Brewers, who won for the second time in nine games.

Torres was called on to protect a 5-2 lead in the ninth. He gave up a leadoff double, but retired the next two batters before walking Cesar Izturis, who was 0-for-3.

Yost then brought in left-hander Shouse, who gave up an RBI single to pinch-hitter Yadier Molina. But he got Adam Kennedy to groundout for his first save this season and fifth of his career.

Shouse doesn't expect to be called on to close too frequently in a Brewers' bullpen that includes Guillermo Mota and David Riske, who allowed a homer in the eighth to Ryan Ludwick that made it 4-2.

"I'm just down there waiting for the phone to ring," Shouse said. "I'm not going to get most of those things. It's going to be Mota, Torres and Riske. I'm not going to be too much of a part of that, I wouldn't think."

The relievers preserved the victory for Suppan (2-2), who became the first Milwaukee starter other than Ben Sheets to win a game since Manny Parra beat San Francisco on April 5. Suppan worked himself into and out of trouble all afternoon, allowing a run on seven hits with four walks in seven innings of work.

But he was able to prevent the big inning that has plagued the rotation for much of the season thanks to four strikeouts and four base-running gaffes by the Cardinals.

Albert Pujols walked twice and singled to extend his streak of reaching base safely in every game this season to 39.

But the Cardinals' slugger ran into three of St. Louis' four outs on the basepaths when he was picked off in the first, caught trying to advance to third on a single by Chris Duncan in the third and doubled off second on a line drive out in the sixth.

"He's an aggressive baserunner and sometimes that happens. Fortunately, we were able to capitalize on mistakes like that," Suppan said of his former teammate.

Said St. Louis manager Tony La Russa: "It wasn't a crisp game from the Cardinals' side."

The Brewers scored twice off St. Louis starter Braden Looper (5-2) in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Prince Fielder and Corey Hart's double.

Braun homered in the third and fifth innings to give Milwaukee a 4-1 lead, while J.J. Hardy went 3-for-4 with two triples and an RBI.

"I've been swinging the bat great lately," Braun said. "It's nice to contribute, and even better that it came in a win - a big one."

Looper allowed four runs on seven hits and one walk in six innings, but was disappointed with his pitches to Braun.

"I left two balls up to him and he essentially did what you're supposed to do with them," Looper said. "He made me pay."

Ludwick struck out three times for St. Louis before hitting his solo homer that made it 4-2. The Brewers added a run in the eighth when Hardy doubled home Bill Hall.

Notes

  • La Russa said he made a "dumb call" when he put on a hit-and-run in the fourth. The Brewers pitched out and easily retired 3B Troy Glaus at second for the other baserunning blunder. Glaus (left tricep) was back in the lineup after sitting out Saturday's game after being hit by a pitch Friday night.
  • Pujols extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
  • Brewers CF Mike Cameron sat Sunday. He's batting just .174 with three homers and eight RBI since joining the team last month following a 25-game suspension.
 
Copyright 2015 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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Ryan Braun's two homers help the Brewers win for the second time in nine games.   (AP)
Ryan Braun's two homers help the Brewers win for the second time in nine games. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

R. Ludwick
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
Milwaukee

R. Braun
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 2
 

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St. Louis Cardinals
Skip Schumaker, CF4000001 .292
   a- Yadier Molina, PH1011000 .301
Adam Kennedy, 2B5110012 .296
Albert Pujols, 1B2010200 .348
Ryan Ludwick, RF4111033 .347
Chris Duncan, LF3021100 .265
Troy Glaus, 3B3120102 .232
Jason LaRue, C3010002 .091
   b- Aaron Miles, PH1000001 .291
Braden Looper, P1000100 .357
   c- Brian Barton, PH1000001 .283
    Mike Parisi, P0000000 .000
   d- Brendan Ryan, PH1000001 .308
Cesar Izturis, SS3000103 .229
Totals3239364  
a-singled for Schumaker in the 9th
b-lined out for LaRue in the 9th
c-hit into fielder's choice for Looper in the 7th
d-grounded out for Parisi in the 9th
Batting
2B - Troy Glaus (13, Torres)
HR - Ryan Ludwick (8, Riske)
RBI - Yadier Molina (12), Ryan Ludwick (24), Chris Duncan (9)
2-OUT RBI - Yadier Molina (8), Ryan Ludwick (8), Chris Duncan (3)
CS - Albert Pujols (1, 2nd base by Suppan/Kendall), Troy Glaus (1, 2nd base by Suppan/Kendall)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
E - Adam Kennedy (3, Throwing)
St. Louis Cardinals
Braden Looper (L,5-2) 6744112 4.21
Mike Parisi 2211110 3.86
HBP - Weeks (by Braden Looper)
Pitches-Strikes - Braden Looper 94-62, Mike Parisi 33-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Braden Looper 8-9, Mike Parisi 1-3
Batters Faced - Braden Looper 27, Mike Parisi 8
Milwaukee Brewers
Rickie Weeks, 2B3110011 .193
Tony Gwynn Jr., CF3100102 .304
Ryan Braun, LF4222001 .281
Prince Fielder, 1B3001010 .248
Corey Hart, RF4021000 .299
Bill Hall, 3B3100101 .197
J.J. Hardy, SS4031000 .260
Jeff Suppan, P3000001 .000
    David Riske, P0000000 .000
   a- Joe Dillon, PH1000001 .250
    Salomon Torres, P0000000 .000
    Brian Shouse, P0000000 .000
Jason Kendall, C3010002 .283
Totals3159522  
a-popped out for Riske in the 8th
Batting
2B - Corey Hart (8, Looper), J.J. Hardy 2 (5, Looper, Parisi)
HR - Ryan Braun 2 (7, Looper, Looper)
SF - Prince Fielder (6)
RBI - Ryan Braun 2 (25), Prince Fielder (22), Corey Hart (16), J.J. Hardy (10)
2-OUT RBI - Corey Hart (5), J.J. Hardy (4)
CS - Corey Hart (2, 2nd base by Parisi/LaRue)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Corey Hart 1
DP - Hall-Weeks
Milwaukee Brewers
Jeff Suppan (W,2-2) 7611540 4.63
David Riske (H,5) 1111001 4.87
Salomon Torres (H,3) 0.2111100 3.04
Brian Shouse (S,1) 0.1100000 3.00
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Suppan 111-63, David Riske 16-9, Salomon Torres 17-9, Brian Shouse 4-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Suppan 10-3, David Riske 1-2, Salomon Torres 1-1, Brian Shouse 1-0
Batters Faced - Jeff Suppan 28, David Riske 4, Salomon Torres 4, Brian Shouse 2
Game Information
Attendance - 41197
Game Time - 2:49
Temperature - 65
Umpires - Home - Brian Knight, First Base - Paul Schrieber, Second Base - Laz Diaz, Third Base - Wally Bell