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St. Louis at Milwaukee

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St. Louis (58-52) «010500100018141
Milwaukee (61-50)210040000007141

Cards outlast Brewers in testy affair; Molina ejected

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MILWAUKEE -- Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols was hit by a high-and-tight pitch. Brewers All-Star Ryan Braun took one in the back a few minutes later. And St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina could face a suspension after making contact in a heated argument with plate umpire Rob Drake.

The NL Central race is certainly turning testy.

Lance Berkman singled in Matt Holliday with two out in the 11th inning to lift St. Louis over Milwaukee 8-7 on Tuesday.

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St. Louis' first victory at Miller Park in five tries this season snapped the Brewers' seven-game winning streak and trimmed their division lead to 2½ games.

"We had a lot of heroes," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "One of the hardest-earned wins of the year. It was a very competitive game from beginning to end. A lot of twists and turns, for us to hang in there like that; well, we've been doing it all year."

Pujols and Braun each were hit by a pitch in the seventh, and Molina became so incensed after he was ejected in the 10th that Drake had to wipe his face during the argument. The umpire declined to speak with a pool reporter after the game, but Molina said he didn't intentionally spit at Drake and believed the umpire bumped him first.

"He was pushing at me," Molina said. "I would never spit on any face of a man. That's not me. I was so sweaty, my face was so sweaty and I was yelling, yelling at him. I would never spit on anybody's face."

Holliday sparked the winning rally by beating out a grounder to shortstop with two outs. Holliday then swiped second for his first stolen base of the season and scored when Berkman hit a shallow flare to left against Marco Estrada (2-7).

"Given the standings, I think it was a bigger game for us than it was for them," Berkman said.

Kyle McClellan (8-6) allowed a one-out single to Casey McGehee in the 11th, but earned the victory after Octavio Dotel got the final two outs for his first save in the NL this year and second this season.

Takashi Saito loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh after he hit Pujols on the left wrist that the slugger broke earlier this season. Holliday, who had homered in the second, followed with a double-play grounder that scored newcomer Rafael Furcal and tied it at 7. Berkman then grounded out to end the threat.

"That's part of the game, that's part of the game," said Pujols, who confirmed X-rays on his heavily iced wrist were negative.

Tempers began to flare in the bottom of the inning after Jason Motte plunked Braun with a 97 mph fastball.

"That's clearly intentional. I mean that's ridiculous," Lucroy said. "There's no way that we were trying to hit Pujols on purpose. You kidding me in that situation? If we wanted to put him on base, we would have walked him. That's ridiculous. We were trying to pitch inside and get a ground ball to third base."

Drake warned both sides, but didn't eject anyone as Molina walked Braun down to first. Prince Fielder moved forward from the on-deck circle, telling his teammates to stay back to keep the situation from escalating.

"We threw two balls in there real good just to send a message," La Russa said, raising his voice. "If he ducks them, it's all over and we don't hit him. The ball that they tried to throw on Pujols was aimed right where they aimed it. Did they try to hit him? No. But there's a small window there."

La Russa said the pitch that hit Pujols wasn't intentional, but he still hasn't liked the way the Brewers have thrown to his biggest star.

"Real scary. They almost got him yesterday. There's nothing intentional about it," La Russa said. "That's what all these idiots up there -- not idiots, fans are yelling and yell. Do you know how many bones you have in the hands and the face? That's where those pitches are. And Braun, we were trying to pitch him in, too, it's just a little stinger. I don't want to even hear about Braun getting a little pop in the back when we almost lose [Pujols] in several ways."

Molina acknowledged it looked bad.

"We're just trying to pitch inside and the ball took off," he said. "Bad moment, bad situation, timing, it looked bad."

Both teams had runners on in the ninth and shortstop Furcal saved the game with an over-the-shoulder catch with two on and two outs.

Drake tossed Molina for arguing a called third strike and the All-Star appeared to hit the umpire with spittle during his tirade. He had to be restrained by Descalso.

"It's an exhausting day, he's trying really hard and his emotions got the better of him," La Russa said. "He did touch the umpire, so that's not acceptable."

Milwaukee held a 3-1 lead before St. Louis scored five times in the fourth against Shaun Marcum, capped when Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia hit a three-run shot for his first career home run. Garcia entered batting .068 this season.

The Brewers answered with four unearned runs in the fifth on a rally that started after an errant throw by Skip Schumaker at second and ended when Betancourt's three-run homer put Milwaukee ahead 7-6, setting up the wild final innings.

"Yesterday I thought we got some breaks," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "We had a lot of chances to win the ballgame. It was an ugly ballgame."

Notes

  • The Cardinals filed a complaint with the umpiring crew about the thin LED boards that surround Miller Park's second level, creating different lighting situations in Monday night's game, but would not discuss the matter further. Brewers general manager Doug Melvin also declined comment.
  • Brewers LHP Randy Wolf (7-8, 3.44 ERA) will face Cardinals RHP Edwin Jackson (1-0, 1.29 ERA) in the series finale Wednesday.
  • Wolf has four consecutive quality starts, but only one victory in the stretch.
  • Jackson was traded from Chicago last week as part of a three-team trade that sent Colby Rasmus to the Blue Jays.
 
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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An eventful evening for home plate umpire Rob Drake escalates during an argument with an incensed Yadier Molina.  (AP)
An eventful evening for home plate umpire Rob Drake escalates during an argument with an incensed Yadier Molina. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

M. Holliday
AB 5
R 3
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Milwaukee

Y. Betancourt
AB 6
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
 
St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Rafael Furcal, SS6110004 .196
Jon Jay, CF4010010 .303
    Lance Lynn, P0000000 .000
   a- Ryan Theriot, PH1000013 .273
    Fernando Salas, P0000000 .000
    Gerald Laird, C1000000 .246
Albert Pujols, 1B5110010 .279
Matt Holliday, LF5321100 .315
Lance Berkman, RF6021001 .287
Skip Schumaker, 2B6101012 .275
Yadier Molina, C5020013 .293
    Kyle McClellan, P0000000 .152
    Octavio Dotel, P0000000 .000
Daniel Descalso, 3B4131101 .263
Jaime Garcia, P2113000 .089
   b- David Freese, PH1000012 .317
    Jason Motte, P0000000 .000
    Marc Rzepczynski, P0000000 .000
    Corey Patterson, CF2010011 .251
Totals48814727  
a-struck out for Lynn in the 8th
b-struck out for Garcia in the 6th
Batting
2B - Yadier Molina (23, Rodriguez), Daniel Descalso (18, M. Estrada)
HR - Matt Holliday (16, Marcum), Jaime Garcia (1, Marcum)
RBI - Matt Holliday (55), Lance Berkman (73), Skip Schumaker (24), Daniel Descalso (27), Jaime Garcia 3 (4)
2-OUT RBI - Lance Berkman (26), Daniel Descalso (14), Jaime Garcia 3 (3)
SB - Matt Holliday (1, 2nd base off M. Estrada/Lucroy)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
E - Skip Schumaker (4, Throwing)
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jaime Garcia 51073061 3.22
Jason Motte 1000010 2.11
Marc Rzepczynski0000100 2.83
Lance Lynn 1100010 3.48
Fernando Salas 2200110 2.42
Kyle McClellan (W,8-6) 1.1100010 4.25
Octavio Dotel (S,2) 0.2000010 3.18
HBP - Braun (by Jason Motte), Morgan (by Kyle McClellan)
Pitches-Strikes - Jaime Garcia 85-61, Jason Motte 16-9, Marc Rzepczynski 4-0, Lance Lynn 17-11, Fernando Salas 33-21, Kyle McClellan 19-14, Octavio Dotel 9-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jaime Garcia 7-3, Jason Motte 1-1, Lance Lynn 1-1, Kyle McClellan 3-0
Batters Faced - Jaime Garcia 26, Jason Motte 4, Marc Rzepczynski 1, Lance Lynn 4, Fernando Salas 9, Kyle McClellan 6, Octavio Dotel 2
Milwaukee Brewers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Corey Hart, RF5121011 .276
Jerry Hairston Jr., CF-2B6210014 .264
Ryan Braun, LF5111012 .322
Prince Fielder, 1B4122110 .296
Casey McGehee, 3B6030013 .235
    Craig Counsell, PR0000000 .145
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS6123016 .257
Jonathan Lucroy, C5010114 .283
Josh Wilson, 2B3110021 .267
    Takashi Saito, P0000000 .000
   a- Mark Kotsay, PH1000013 .245
    Francisco Rodriguez, P0000000 .000
    John Axford, P0000000 .000
   b- Felipe Lopez, PH1000002 .212
    Marco Estrada, P0000000 .222
Shaun Marcum, P1000010 .146
   c- Nyjer Morgan, PH-CF2010000 .326
Totals457147211  
a-struck out for Saito in the 7th
b-popped out for Axford in the 9th
c-popped out for Marcum in the 6th
Batting
2B - Jerry Hairston Jr. (12, Garcia), Prince Fielder (25, Garcia)
HR - Yuniesky Betancourt (8, Garcia)
SF - Prince Fielder (4)
SH - Corey Hart (3), Shaun Marcum (8)
RBI - Corey Hart (36), Ryan Braun (73), Prince Fielder 2 (78), Yuniesky Betancourt 3 (43)
2-OUT RBI - Corey Hart (11), Yuniesky Betancourt 3 (18)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
DP - Hairston-Betancourt-Fielder
E - Jerry Hairston Jr. (9, Throwing)
Milwaukee Brewers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Shaun Marcum 6766122 3.58
Takashi Saito (BS,2) 1211000 3.09
Francisco Rodriguez 1200120 3.14
John Axford 1000000 2.45
Marco Estrada (L,2-7) 2311030 4.57
HBP - Pujols (by Takashi Saito)
Pitches-Strikes - Shaun Marcum 100-58, Takashi Saito 14-8, Francisco Rodriguez 29-15, John Axford 18-11, Marco Estrada 33-22
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Shaun Marcum 10-7, Takashi Saito 2-0, Francisco Rodriguez 1-0, John Axford 1-3, Marco Estrada 1-2
Batters Faced - Shaun Marcum 27, Takashi Saito 5, Francisco Rodriguez 6, John Axford 4, Marco Estrada 9
Game Information
Attendance - 39393
Game Time - 4:28
Temperature - 86
Umpires - Home - Rob Drake, First Base - Gary Darling, Second Base - Bruce Dreckman, Third Base - Al Porter