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St. Louis at Milwaukee

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St. Louis (83-57) «000001102480
Milwaukee (66-72)210000000360

Holliday's blast off Hoffman in ninth propels Cardinals past Brewers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MILWAUKEE -- Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols supplied the pop that kept the St. Louis Cardinals charging ahead.

Holliday hit a two-run homer off Trevor Hoffman in the top of the ninth and Cardinals rallied for a 4-3 victory against the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night.

Hoffman, trying to protect a 3-2 lead, walked Pujols with one out before serving up a 2-1 pitch that Holliday drove over the wall in dead center.

"I've had some good at-bats against him," Holliday said after the Cardinals won for the sixth time in their past seven games at Miller Park, outscoring the Brewers 32-12 in that span. "Anytime against the greatest closer of all time, it's a special home run."

Since the Cardinals acquired Holliday on July 24, they have the majors' best record at 31-11.

"He went down there and got it," Brewers manager Ken Macha said. "When he hit it, he kind of did a little jump step. So, when they do that, they know they hit it well."

The victory gave the Cardinals their 12th series victory in the past 13. The only hiccup was a two-game split with the New York Mets on Aug. 4-5.

"I think our club just refused to get down or frustrated," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "I would pass out roses to everybody on the roster. It isn't the first time we've done that this season."

St. Louis won for the 14th time in their final at-bat and fourth trailing after eight innings.

It was only the third blown save for Hoffman (1-2) this season, but it spoiled what would have been a remarkable victory for Carlos Villanueva. He was forced to fill in when starter Manny Parra had neck spasms after throwing 21 pitches retiring the Cardinals in the first inning.

The injury put an abrupt end to the rematch between John Smoltz and the Brewers left-hander. Last Thursday, Parra won his 10th game with a 4-3 victory against the Cardinals.

Parra said that he had felt the twinge earlier in the day, but it had calmed down by the time the game started.

"It was the pitch I walked Holliday on," he said, describing the feeling as a shooting pain down his neck and into his upper back. "I came in, and they did some tests. I wasn't going to be able to pitch."

His status for the next start is unknown.

"They didn't tell me anything other than that," Parra said.

Blake Hawksworth (3-0) pitched a scoreless eighth and Kyle McClellan worked the ninth for his third save.

Prince Fielder's 38th home run, a two-run shot in the bottom of the first, pushed his major league RBI total to 125 and gave Villanueva a 2-0 lead to start the second.

"They are a good team and, unfortunately, we didn't score enough runs tonight," Fielder said. "They are a good team, and good teams do that every now and then."

The right-hander held the Cardinals scoreless over three innings, retired the side in the fourth on swinging strikeouts and matched his career-high with six overall. He had a big advantage because St. Louis had stacked its lineup with right-handers to face Parra.

Pujols hit a solo shot off David Weathers in the seventh for his major-league leading 45th home run and cut the Cardinals' deficit to one. Pujols has scored 12 runs in a span of eight consecutive games.

The Brewers used eight pitchers, which tied the club record for most pitchers used in an nine-inning game.

"Our bullpen pitched their heart and soul out," Macha said.

Notes

  • Brewers RF Corey Hart, out since an emergency appendectomy on Aug. 2, was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list. He pinch hit in the seventh and flied out, but stayed in game in right field.
  • DeRosa was back in the starting lineup after missing the previous three games with a tight back.
  • Milwaukee CF Mike Cameron missed his third consecutive game with a tight hamstring.
  • Macha never had a losing record in his eight previous years as a manager, four at Oakland and four in the minors. Milwaukee (66-72) could break that string.
  • Fielder is one RBI shy of tying the franchise single-season record set by Cecil Cooper (126) in 1983.
 
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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Matt Holliday gets a big welcome from Albert Pujols after his game-changing home run in the ninth.  (AP)
Matt Holliday gets a big welcome from Albert Pujols after his game-changing home run in the ninth. (AP)

Players of the Game
Milwaukee

P. Fielder
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
St. Louis

M. Holliday
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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St. Louis Cardinals
Julio Lugo, 2B5010013 .292
Brendan Ryan, SS4010101 .288
Albert Pujols, 1B3211202 .328
Matt Holliday, LF4222102 .316
Ryan Ludwick, RF5020014 .272
Mark DeRosa, 3B3010210 .261
Yadier Molina, C4000011 .284
Rick Ankiel, CF2000021 .234
   a- Troy Glaus, PH0000100 .188
    Skip Schumaker, CF0000100 .298
John Smoltz, P2000011 .091
   b- Khalil Greene, PH1000002 .206
    Kyle Lohse, P0000000 .226
    Brad Thompson, P0000000 .091
    Dennys Reyes, P0000000 .000
   c- Colby Rasmus, PH1000013 .254
    Blake Hawksworth, P0000000 .000
    Kyle McClellan, P0000000 .000
Totals3448388  
a-walked for Ankiel in the 6th
b-flied out for Smoltz in the 6th
c-struck out for Reyes in the 8th
Batting
2B - Ryan Ludwick (19, Vargas), Mark DeRosa (19, Villanueva)
3B - Brendan Ryan (7, DiFelice)
HR - Albert Pujols (45, Weathers), Matt Holliday (23, Hoffman)
RBI - Albert Pujols (121), Matt Holliday 2 (95)
2-OUT RBI - Albert Pujols (27)
SB - Brendan Ryan 2 (12, 2nd base off Parra/Rivera, 2nd base off Villanueva/Rivera)
Team LOB - 11
St. Louis Cardinals
John Smoltz 5633071 6.53
Kyle Lohse 1000010 4.62
Brad Thompson 0.2000110 4.98
Dennys Reyes 0.1000000 3.41
Blake Hawksworth (W,3-0) 1000200 2.51
Kyle McClellan (S,3) 1000000 3.12
Pitches-Strikes - John Smoltz 83-53, Kyle Lohse 11-7, Brad Thompson 17-9, Dennys Reyes 5-3, Blake Hawksworth 21-9, Kyle McClellan 11-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Smoltz 3-5, Kyle Lohse 2-0, Blake Hawksworth 3-0, Kyle McClellan 2-1
Batters Faced - John Smoltz 21, Kyle Lohse 3, Brad Thompson 3, Dennys Reyes 1, Blake Hawksworth 5, Kyle McClellan 3
Milwaukee Brewers
Corey Patterson, CF3000032 .091
   a- Jason Bourgeois, PH1000001 .185
    Claudio Vargas, P0000000 .000
    Trevor Hoffman, P0000000 .000
Craig Counsell, 2B4000002 .287
Ryan Braun, LF4110010 .311
Prince Fielder, 1B3122100 .299
Casey McGehee, 3B3000101 .292
Jody Gerut, RF-CF4110013 .215
J.J. Hardy, SS4010020 .226
Mike Rivera, C3011100 .233
Manny Parra, P0000000 .143
    Carlos Villanueva, P1000012 .111
   b- Mat Gamel, PH1000010 .237
    Mark DiFelice, P0000000 .000
    Todd Coffey, P0000000 .000
    Mitch Stetter, P0000000 .000
    David Weathers, P0000000 .000
   c- Corey Hart, PH-RF2000001 .262
Totals3336339  
a-flied out for Patterson in the 7th
b-struck out for Villanueva in the 4th
c-lined out for Weathers in the 7th
Batting
2B - Ryan Braun (32, Smoltz)
HR - Prince Fielder (38, Smoltz)
RBI - Prince Fielder 2 (125), Mike Rivera (12)
2-OUT RBI - Prince Fielder 2 (54)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Counsell-Fielder
Milwaukee Brewers
Manny Parra 1100100 6.42
Carlos Villanueva 3100260 5.49
Mark DiFelice 0.2100000 3.68
Todd Coffey 1211100 2.82
Mitch Stetter (H,19) 0.1000100 3.79
David Weathers (H,18) 1111001 3.61
Claudio Vargas (H,5) 1100210 2.37
Trevor Hoffman (BS,3; L,1-2) 1122111 2.05
IBB - Schumaker by Claudio Vargas
Pitches-Strikes - Manny Parra 21-11, Carlos Villanueva 47-28, Mark DiFelice 9-9, Todd Coffey 18-9, Mitch Stetter 8-3, David Weathers 8-5, Claudio Vargas 37-19, Trevor Hoffman 19-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Manny Parra 1-2, Mark DiFelice 1-1, Todd Coffey 2-0, David Weathers 1-2, Claudio Vargas 2-0, Trevor Hoffman 1-1
Batters Faced - Manny Parra 5, Carlos Villanueva 12, Mark DiFelice 3, Todd Coffey 5, Mitch Stetter 2, David Weathers 4, Claudio Vargas 6, Trevor Hoffman 5
Game Information
Attendance - 36172
Game Time - 3:20
Temperature - 71
Umpires - Home - Larry Vanover, First Base - Sam Holbrook, Second Base - Gerry Davis, Third Base - Dan Iassogna