|St. Louis (23-17)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||3||6||1|
|Milwaukee (19-19) «||1||0||5||0||1||1||0||0||x||8||9||0|
Catcher Yadier Molina and manager Tony La Russa managed to see a few innings less of him than everyone else Monday night.
Braun hit two home runs for the second game in a row, and Molina and La Russa were ejected for arguing balls and strikes shortly after the second of Braun's two blasts in the Brewers' 8-3 victory.
For Braun, it was another sign that he's beginning to regain the form that made him NL Rookie of the Year last season.
"I feel the game slow down a little bit," Braun said. "I feel like I see pitches longer -- and bigger."
Braun followed up Sunday's two-homer performance by hitting two more off stingy Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright (3-2), who had given up four runs or less in his first seven starts and had a 2.25 ERA going into the game.
"The thing about him is if you make tough pitches, you hold him to singles or you get him out," Wainwright said. "You make bad pitches, he hits home runs."
Braun did just that with solo shots in the first and the fifth -- and the second might have added to the frustration that got Molina and La Russa tossed later in the inning.
With one out, Braun clobbered a 2-1 pitch from Wainwright into the Brewers' bullpen in left field. After Prince Fielder struck out, Corey Hart came to the plate and took a borderline pitch low and outside for a ball.
Molina complained about the call and was ejected by home plate umpire Paul Schrieber as La Russa was walking out of the dugout.
"Everything was OK," Molina said. "It was that pitch. I asked him where it was. He didn't like it, and he threw me out."
Molina protested his ejection by taking off his gear and leaving it in a pile at Schrieber's feet.
"That was awesome," Wainwright said. "If you're going to get tossed, you might as well make it a good one. That was one of the better ones I've seen."
La Russa continued to argue and eventually was thrown out himself.
"I thought it was really unfair because Yadier has got a reputation for being as respectful and as professional (as anyone) out there," La Russa said. "He questions one breaking ball, and then the next one he questioned, and he said, 'That's far enough.' I don't understand how he could be so impatient with a guy who has established that he's a real pro."
Speaking of reputations, Braun is beginning to show that last year was no fluke.
"Yesterday showed it," Yost said. "Today confirmed it."
Milwaukee's bullpen, however, remains a serious question mark for a team that still considers itself a playoff contender.
Struggling reliever Eric Gagne was shaky in his first outing since admitting he didn't deserve to be the Brewers closer any more on Saturday -- a statement he tried to take back before Monday's game. And the team's current closer-by-committee approach didn't look much better when left-hander Mitch Stetter walked his way into giving the Cardinals a chance to come back in the ninth.
Gagne walked the first batter he faced, then induced a double play and a groundout. He stayed in for what turned out to be a sloppy eighth inning that included a walk, two singles and a wild pitch.
Another deposed closer seeking redemption, Jason Isringhausen, pitched a scoreless eighth for St. Louis.
Stetter then opened the ninth for Milwaukee but also struggled, walking the first two hitters he faced, getting back-to-back popouts, and then walking in a run with two more bases on balls. Right-hander Guillermo Mota came in with the bases loaded and struck out Rick Ankiel for his first save since April 23, 2005 while pitching for the Florida Marlins.
Yost took it as a positive sign that Gagne wanted to keep working instead of leaving the game with a relatively good feeling after the seventh. But Yost admitted Stetter's wildness was "a bit alarming."
Brewers starter Dave Bush (1-4) gave up a run and four hits in six innings. Bush also led off the third with a double, setting the stage for what would become a five-run inning.
|Ryan Braun is the 'Main Man' in Milwaukee with back-to-back two-homer games. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Skip Schumaker, LF||4||0||1||1||1||0||2||.291|
|Yadier Molina, C||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.296|
|Jason LaRue, C||2||0||1||1||1||0||1||.114|
|Rick Ankiel, CF||4||1||1||1||1||2||4||.286|
|Ryan Ludwick, RF||3||0||1||0||1||1||3||.346|
|Chris Duncan, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||0||4||.253|
|Troy Glaus, 3B||1||1||0||0||3||0||0||.230|
|Adam Kennedy, 2B||3||0||0||0||1||0||2||.287|
|Adam Wainwright, P||2||0||0||0||0||0||1||.240|
|a- Brian Barton, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.278|
|Randy Flores, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jason Isringhausen, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Brendan Ryan, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.300|
|Cesar Izturis, SS||4||1||2||0||0||0||2||.240|
|a-grounded out for Wainwright in the 7th|
|b-popped out for Isringhausen in the 9th|
|2B - Jason LaRue (1, Bush), Cesar Izturis (5, Bush)|
|HR - Rick Ankiel (7, Bush)|
|RBI - Skip Schumaker (13), Jason LaRue (1), Rick Ankiel (20)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jason LaRue (1), Rick Ankiel (7)|
|CS - Ryan Ludwick (1, 2nd base by Bush/Kendall)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|DP - Wainwright-Kennedy-Duncan|
|E - Adam Kennedy (4, Misplayed grounder)|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Adam Wainwright (L,3-2)||6||8||8||6||1||3||3||2.95|
|Pitches-Strikes - Adam Wainwright 87-55, Randy Flores 15-10, Jason Isringhausen 15-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Adam Wainwright 6-9, Randy Flores 2-0, Jason Isringhausen 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Adam Wainwright 27, Randy Flores 3, Jason Isringhausen 4|
|Rickie Weeks, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.188|
|Mike Cameron, CF||4||1||1||1||0||1||0||.180|
|Ryan Braun, LF||3||3||2||2||1||0||0||.288|
|Prince Fielder, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||2||3||.241|
|Corey Hart, RF||4||1||2||2||0||0||0||.304|
|Bill Hall, 3B||4||1||1||1||0||1||1||.199|
|J.J. Hardy, SS||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.252|
|Dave Bush, P||2||1||1||0||0||0||0||.154|
|a- Gabe Kapler, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.286|
|Eric Gagne, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Mitch Stetter, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Guillermo Mota, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jason Kendall, C||3||1||2||0||0||0||0||.293|
|a-lined out for Bush in the 6th|
|2B - Mike Cameron (2, Wainwright), Dave Bush (1, Wainwright)|
|HR - Ryan Braun 2 (9, Wainwright, Wainwright), Bill Hall (8, Wainwright)|
|RBI - Mike Cameron (9), Ryan Braun 2 (27), Corey Hart 2 (18), Bill Hall (20)|
|2-OUT RBI - Ryan Braun (10), Corey Hart 2 (7)|
|Team LOB - 2|
|DP - Weeks-Hardy-Fielder|
|Dave Bush (W,1-4)||6||4||1||1||2||1||1||6.06|
|Guillermo Mota (S,1)||0.1||0||0||0||0||1||0||2.20|
|WP - Eric Gagne (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Dave Bush 92-59, Eric Gagne 37-19, Mitch Stetter 21-5, Guillermo Mota 6-3|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dave Bush 7-9, Eric Gagne 2-2|
|Batters Faced - Dave Bush 23, Eric Gagne 9, Mitch Stetter 6, Guillermo Mota 1|
|Attendance - 25757|
|Game Time - 2:38|
|Temperature - 64|
|Umpires - Home - Paul Schrieber, First Base - Laz Diaz, Second Base - Wally Bell, Third Base - Mike Winters|