Monday’s Game Report: Cardinals 12, Brewers 2
Those days when the Cardinals seemed to struggle to score runs seems a long, long time ago.
For the second game in a row the Cardinals erupted for six runs in the second inning and reached double digits for the second day in a row in the blowout win Monday night in the opener of a three-game series in Milwaukee.
It was the fifth win in a row for the Cardinals, who have scored at least six runs in all five games, scoring a combined total of 43 runs in the five games.
They added a half-game to their lead over the Cubs in the NL Central and now lead the division by three games, equaling their biggest lead of the season. They are 14-3 in their last 17 games and are a season-high 14 games over .500.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals sent 11 hitters to the plate in the second inning, with Marcell Ozuna delivering the biggest hit, a bases-loaded double that drove in all three runners. After getting the inning started with an infield single, Harrison Bader got his second hit of the inning later, a ground-rule double that drove in two runs … The Cardinals added to their lead with solo homers from Yadier Molina and Paul DeJong. Molina’s homer was his first since May 14 while DeJong’s homer was his 24th of the season … DeJong later added a sacrifice fly … Tommy Edman had three hits for the second consecutive game.
On the mound: Adam Wainwright could not get out of the fourth inning, pulled after throwing 90 pitches in 3 2/3 innings when the Brewers had two runners on base and Christian Yelich coming up, even though the Cardinals led 9-2. John Gant walked Yelich to load the bases but then got the final out of the inning … Gant did not allow a hit in 2 1/3 innings and got the win, raising his record for the season to 9-0 … Dominic Leone, Andrew Miller and Carlos Martinez combined to work the final two innings.
Key stat: Winning games in August has become the norm for the Cardinals the last two years. The win Monday night left them with a 15-8 record so far this month after they were 22-6 in August 2018, giving them a combined record in the month of 37-14 for the two years, with five games left to play this month.
Worth noting: Jose Martinez began a rehab assignment at Double A Springfield on Monday night and was 1-of-3 with a walk. His hit was a two-run double, and he also stole third base … With Springfield at home and Memphis beginning a road trip, although the Redbirds were rained out, Tyler O’Neill moved his rehab assignment to Springfield and was 1-of-5 and struck out twice … Austin Gomber made his second rehab start, also in Springfield, and was much more effective than in his first start last week in Palm Beach. He threw one scoreless inning, allowing one hit. It is possible the Cardinals could bring Gomber to the majors to use as another left-hander out of the bullpen in September.
Looking ahead: Miles Mikolas will get the start Tuesday night in the second game of the series.