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St. Louis at Milwaukee

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St. Louis (73-53) «1600000018121
Milwaukee (55-72)0030200016141

Cards doom Brewers with 6-run second, keep pace for playoffs

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MILWAUKEE -- Jake Westbrook didn't last long enough to earn the victory on Wednesday, but the light-hitting St. Louis pitcher used his bat to spark a six-run, second-inning outburst that led to a Cardinals victory against the Milwaukee win.

The Cardinals jumped out to a seven-run lead and then held on to win 8-6.

Westbrook, who entered the game hitting only .167 with two RBI this season, smacked a bases-loaded double into the left-center field gap that scored two runs, starting an onslaught that propelled the Cardinals a 7-0 lead.

"I'm happy to be able to contribute in that sense, especially with the bases loaded and nobody out and to put a good swing on the ball," Westbrook said.

Westbrook didn't fare as well on the mound, however. He fell one out short of earning this eighth victory of the year, giving up four earned runs and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out one during a 75-pitch outing.

In his previous start on Aug. 16, when he threw a career-high 124 pitches, Westbrook gave up six earned runs in 6 2/3 innings.

"I still felt like I pitched a lot better than I have been in terms of throwing strikes and getting ahead of guys," Westbrook said. "I actually made some good pitches that they put some good swings on. Getting two quick outs in the fifth and not being able to finish it off is pretty frustrating for me.

"The bullpen came in and picked me up and finished it off, and the offense was great."

Carlos Beltran and Allen Craig hit towering home runs in the game-changing second inning. Matt Holliday also homered later in the game and Shane Robinson had three hits for the Cardinals, who remain close behind the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL Central race.

"It was a big win," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "Those are the ones you've got to find a way to win, when you put that kind of offensive production up early."

After taking a one-run lead in the first inning on a double by Craig, the Cardinals torched Brewers starter Tom Gorzelanny (3-5) in the second.

"You make mistakes and you pay for them, especially against good-hitting teams," Gorzelanny said. "I left balls over the middle, [and made] bad pitch selection."

Following Matt Carpenter's sacrifice fly, Beltran launched a two-run shot that caromed off the center-field scoreboard. With two out, Craig hit a solo homer to right-center.

"We are happy that we were able to win the series," Beltran said. "That is basically what is important for us right now."

The Brewers cut into the lead in the third on a three-run homer by Aramis Ramirez, and then added two runs in the fifth.

Juan Francisco broke out of an 0-for-15 slump, during which he struck out 10 times, with a run-scoring single. Sean Halton drove in another run with a hit, cutting the deficit to 7-5 and chasing Westbrook.

"[Westbrook] started out pretty good, but for whatever reason they were finding the good part of the bat and finding holes," Matheny said.

Kevin Siegrist struck out pinch-hitter Jeff Bianchi with the bases loaded to end the fifth inning. Siegrist (2-1) recorded two outs to notch the victory. Four Cardinals relievers held the Brewers to one run over the final 5 1/3 innings to preserve the win.

Holliday's solo home run in the ninth extended the lead to 8-5.

Edward Mujica earned his 33rd save in 35 attempts despite giving up a long solo home run to Logan Schafer with one out in the ninth.

Gorzelanny surrendered seven runs and 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out five.

"He didn't command the ball that well early and then they also hit some pretty good pitches. We know they are a good hitting club, and when you don't hit your spots, they are going to put a good swing on it," Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said.

Khris Davis had a career-best three hits for Milwaukee.

"He keeps showing he can hang in there. He works the count well, which I really like," Roenicke said. "He's an aggressive swinger, but he's not a hacker. He doesn't just go up there and swing at everything. He swings at the pitch he wants to swing at."

Notes

  • Milwaukee reliever Rob Wooten was placed on the paternity list. Wooten didn't make it back to North Carolina in time for the birth of his daughter. "He walked into the room and [his wife] was holding the baby," Roenicke said. "But everyone is fine."
  • Pitcher Donovan Hand was recalled from Triple-A Nashville to replace Wooten. Hand was optioned back to Nashville immediately after the game, as was INF/OF Sean Halton. Corresponding moves will be forthcoming, according to a team spokesman.
  • OF Norichika Aoki was held out of the lineup due to right knee soreness. "It has been bugging him for a while. We aren't worried too much," Roenicke said.
  • The Cardinals concluded a 12-game stretch against NL Central clubs.
  • St. Louis returns home to face the Atlanta Braves on Thursday. Milwaukee returns to action Friday at Cincinnati.
 
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Allen Craig is a popular man in the dugout after hitting a towering HR for the Cards, who stay close in the NL Central race. (USATSI)
Allen Craig is a popular man in the dugout after hitting a towering HR for the Cards, who stay close in the NL Central race. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

C. Beltran
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Milwaukee

A. Ramirez
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
 
St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Matt Carpenter, 2B-3B4011020 .311
Carlos Beltran, RF5222020 .307
Matt Holliday, LF5111022 .282
Allen Craig, 1B4122111 .310
Yadier Molina, C4000002 .332
David Freese, 3B4120000 .266
Shane Robinson, CF-LF4130000 .276
Pete Kozma, SS2100201 .220
Jake Westbrook, P3112013 .182
   Daniel Descalso, 3B1000010 .252
Totals36812839  
Batting
2B - Allen Craig (27, Gorzelanny), Jake Westbrook (2, Gorzelanny)
HR - Carlos Beltran (22, Gorzelanny), Matt Holliday (16, Gonzalez), Allen Craig (12, Gorzelanny)
SF - Matt Carpenter (6)
RBI - Matt Carpenter (63), Carlos Beltran 2 (67), Matt Holliday (62), Allen Craig 2 (90), Jake Westbrook 2 (4)
2-OUT RBI - Matt Holliday (25), Allen Craig 2 (40)
SB - Matt Carpenter (2, 2nd base off Gorzelanny/Lucroy), Shane Robinson (4, 2nd base off Hand/Lucroy)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Westbrook-Kozma-Craig
E - Pete Kozma (7, Misplayed grounder)
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jake Westbrook 4.2954111 4.49
Kevin Siegrist (W,2-1) 0.2100120 0.69
Seth Maness (H,13) 1.1100110 2.03
Trevor Rosenthal (H,26) 1100110 2.58
Edward Mujica (S,33) 1.1211011 1.77
HBP - Halton (by Jake Westbrook), Davis (by Edward Mujica)
Pitches-Strikes - Jake Westbrook 75-48, Kevin Siegrist 18-11, Seth Maness 26-17, Trevor Rosenthal 22-11, Edward Mujica 21-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jake Westbrook 8-5, Seth Maness 2-1, Edward Mujica 2-1
Batters Faced - Jake Westbrook 25, Kevin Siegrist 4, Seth Maness 6, Trevor Rosenthal 5, Edward Mujica 7
Milwaukee Brewers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Scooter Gennett, 2B6010023 .312
Jean Segura, SS6110012 .306
Jonathan Lucroy, C5120002 .289
Aramis Ramirez, 3B3223201 .260
Khris Davis, LF4130002 .324
Juan Francisco, 1B5011014 .239
Sean Halton, RF4011011 .218
Logan Schafer, CF3121200 .222
Tom Gorzelanny, P1000002 .063
   Donovan Hand, P1000000 .091
   a-Jeff Bianchi, PH1000013 .246
   b-Norichika Aoki, PH1000002 .278
   Yuniesky Betancourt, 1B1010000 .207
Totals41614646  
a-struck out for Hand in the 5th
b-flied out for Axford in the 7th
Batting
2B - Jean Segura (18, Siegrist), Yuniesky Betancourt (11, Mujica)
3B - Jonathan Lucroy (5, Westbrook)
HR - Aramis Ramirez (7, Westbrook), Logan Schafer (3, Mujica)
RBI - Aramis Ramirez 3 (31), Juan Francisco (47), Sean Halton (6), Logan Schafer (24)
2-OUT RBI - Juan Francisco (9), Sean Halton (3)
Team LOB - 14
Fielding
DP - Gennett-Francisco, Gennett-Francisco-Ramirez-Gennett-Francisco
E - Juan Francisco (17, Throwing)
Milwaukee Brewers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Tom Gorzelanny (L,3-5) 3.21077152 3.60
Donovan Hand 1.1100100 3.75
John Axford 2000100 4.10
Burke Badenhop 1000010 3.32
Mike Gonzalez 1111031 4.26
Pitches-Strikes - Tom Gorzelanny 79-56, Donovan Hand 20-12, John Axford 21-13, Burke Badenhop 8-5, Mike Gonzalez 20-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tom Gorzelanny 3-2, Donovan Hand 2-2, John Axford 4-1, Burke Badenhop 1-1
Batters Faced - Tom Gorzelanny 21, Donovan Hand 6, John Axford 6, Burke Badenhop 3, Mike Gonzalez 4
Game Information
Attendance - 37028
Game Time - 3:18
Temperature - 84
Umpires - Home - Marvin Hudson, First Base - Wally Bell, Second Base - Clint Fagan, Third Base - Marty Foster