Tuesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 9, Brewers 4
By Rob Rains
The Cardinals sent four batters to the plate with the bases loaded in the sixth inning on Tuesday night. Only one actually hit the ball, and he didn’t hit it very hard or far, but where it landed was far more important.
Dexter Fowler’s bloop hit landed in front of Ryan Braun in short left field for a double, and Harrison Bader used his speed to score from first base as the Cardinals broke a 2-2 tie and went on to defeat the Brewers again at Busch Stadium.
Fowler’s hit came after the Cardinals loaded the bases on a single by Marcell Ozuna, a hit batter and an infield single by Yadier Molina. Kolten Wong struck out for the third time in the game for the first out before Bader, just back from Memphis drew a walk that forced in the tying run.
Matt Carpenter came up as a pinch-hitter and struck out, which brought Fowler to the plate for the key at-bat of the game.
The win was the ninth in their last 11 games for the Cardinals, who maintained their half-game lead over the Cubs in the NL Central. It also left them 10 games over .500 (67-57) for the first time since they were 20-10 on May 1.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: Wong did not have to wait long for another chance as he came up again with the bases loaded in the seventh, and this time delivered a two-run single and then stole his 17th base of the year … Fowler also came up with the bases loaded again in the seventh and this time drew a walk for his fourth RBI of the night … Bader had a triple in his first at-bat and then walked in his next three plate appearances. He also made two outstanding catches in center field … In the sixth and seventh innings combined the Cardinals sent 18 batters to the plate, nine with the bases loaded. They were a combined 2-of-6 and also drew three walks, scoring a total of eight runs … The Cardinals drew a season-high nine walks in the game, five in the sixth and seventh combined.
On the mound: The Cardinals pulled starter Michael Wacha after four scoreless innings when they had another bases-loaded chance in a 1-0 game, but pinch-hitter Lane Thomas flew out to center. Wacha allowed three hits, walked one and struck out five … John Gant allowed three hits in the sith, when the Brewers scored their first two runs, one of them charged to Ryan Helsley … John Brebbia also gave up three hits and two runs in the eighth … The Cardinals combined threw 170 pitches in the game, only four by Tyler Webb, but he was credited with his first major-league win as he got the final out in the top of the sixth inning.
Key stat: In his first seven games against the Cardinals this season, Christian Yelich went 12-of-24 with eight homers and drove in 19 runs. In his last five games, the Cardinals have held Yelich to one hit – a double on Tuesday night – in 13 at-bats with no RBIs. The Cardinals have won all five of those games.
Worth noting: With Bader returning to St. Louis, Randy Arozarena was optioned to Memphis. Arozarena spent a week in the majors, making two starts and also appeared as a pinch-hitter. He was 2-of-8 with both hits coming in his major-league debut … Arozarena is expected to be joined in Memphis in the next day or two by Tyler O’Neill as he begins a minor-league rehab assignment. Jose Martinez is still a few days away from going out on rehab. It’s possible if not likely that neither will be added to the major-league roster until Sept. 1, when the rosters can be expanded … Another player pushing for that opportunity is Dylan Carlson, who hit his second Triple A homer and 23rd of the season on Tuesday night. He was 3-of-4 in the game and is hitting .520 in his first six games since his promotion from Double A … Also at Memphis, Daniel Ponce de Leon extended his streak of consecutive scoreless innings to 23 before allowing a run in his sixth inning of work.
Looking ahead: Adam Wainwright will get the start on Wednesday night as the Cardinals try to complete a sweep of the three-game series.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains