Wednesday’s Game Report: Brewers 5, Cardinals 3 (seven innings)
By Rob Rains
For the second night in a row, the Cardinals game hung in the balance in the sixth inning on Wednesday night.
A double by Yadier Molina, following a pair of singles, had driven in a run, cutting the Brewers’ lead to 5-3, with runners on second and third and one out. Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell called to the bullpen and brought in a left-hander with Matt Carpenter due up.
Instead of countering that move by using Tommy Edman to pinch-hit, the Cardinals let Carpenter bat – and he struck out for the third time in the game.
Harrison Bader struck out as well, the two runners were left on base and the Cardinals lost for the only the second time in their last 12 games.
The three strikeouts left Carpenter with nine hits in 46 at-bats since he returned from the injured list on Aug. 4, a .196 average. He also struck out as a pinch-hitter with the bases loaded in the sixth inning on Tuesday night but the Cardinals still managed to win the game
The game was halted by rain as the Cardinals came to bat in the bottom of the eighth inning and after a one hour, six minutes delay it was called, giving the Brewers the win.
Combined with the Cubs’ 12-11 win over the Giants, the Cardinals fell out of first place in the NL Central, a half game behind the Cubs.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals took advantage of two Brewers errors and an infield hit which could have been ruled an error to score twice in the fifth after the Brewers had built a 5-0 lead … Dexter Fowler’s RBI single in the fifth was only their second hit in the game … Kolten Wong, hitting .356 since the All-Star break, was moved up to second in the order and was 1-of-3 and also reached on a walk. It was the first time he started a game hitting higher than sixth since May 30.
On the mound: Adam Wainwright had allowed a combined total of four runs in his last four starts at Busch Stadium coming into the game, covering 25 1/3 innings, but he gave up that many in his first 17 pitches Wednesday night. Three singles and a three-run homer by Mike Moustakas gave the Brewers the early lead … A two-out single and double produced the fifth Milwaukee run in the fourth … The Cardinals had won seven of Wainwright’s previous eight starts … The Brewers loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth but Junior Fernandez struck out Ryan Braun to end the inning.
Key stat: The loss snapped the Cardinals’ seven-game winning streak against the Brewers and their six-game winning streak at home. Since the All-Star break the Cardinals are now 12-6 at home and 23-14 overall.
Worth noting: Tyler O’Neill had a single in three at-bats Wednesday night in the first game of his rehab assignment at Memphis … Dylan Carlson, the top prospect in the organization, had his third consecutive three-hit game (all singles) and is now hitting .552 since he was promoted to Triple A … The four runs allowed in the first inning were the most against the Cardinals in a game at Busch Stadium this season. The previous high had been three by the Pirates on May 12 … Moustakas’s homer was the third allowed by Wainwright on an 0-2 pitch in his career, the second this season. The other came in 2013.
Looking ahead: The homestand continues on Thursday night with the first of four games against the Rockies. Miles Mikolas will get the start.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains