The Bottom Line:
– After a 2:20 rain delay, the Milwaukee Brewers (68-70) defeated the St. Louis Cardinals (74-64) in thirteen innings by a score of 5-4. The game began late Friday night and went into early Saturday morning. The Cardinals were 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position in the opener of the series. St. Louis is now 1.5 games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates for the second slot in the National League wild card race.
– On a hanging curve ball by Lance Lynn in the top of the thirteenth inning, Ryan Braun hit his 38th home run of 2012 to left field. The homer drove in Braun’s 100th run this season and he became the first player in Brewers history to have five separate years of at least 100 RBI. Braun’s solo homer proved to be the game-winner after John Axford closed out the Cardinals in the bottom of the thirteenth.
– Kyle Lohse pitched 6.1 solid innings and struck out five Brewers, but did not factor in the decision. He gave up two earned runs, five hits and two walks.
– The Cardinals got out to a quick 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Jon Jay led off with a single, extending his career-high on-base streak to 35 consecutive games. Then after a passed ball, Matt Carpenter doubled Jay home. Carlos Beltran moved Carpenter over to third base with a grounder to the right side of the infield. The Cardinals added their second run with Allen Craig’s sacrifice fly to center.
– Milwaukee cut the St. Louis lead in half with a little rally of their own in the fourth. Rickie Weeks and Braun started the inning with back-to-back singles. On Braun’s single, Beltran attempted to get Weeks at third, but the ball hit the runner in the back. With men on second and third and no out, the Brewers looked to strike big against Lohse, but he was able to strike out Corey Hart. Next batter, Taylor Green put the ball in play to bring home Weeks and make the score 2-1. Lohse got out of inning with the overanxious Carlos Gomez grounding out to second after swinging at all four of the pitches he saw.
– The Brewers tied the game up in the seventh inning when they put together a few more consecutive hits. With one out, Lohse walked Martin Maldonado and then allowed a single to hot-hitting Jeff Bianchi. Then Mike Matheny lifted Lohse for Edward Mujica to face Travis Ishikawa. Ishikawa doubled to right to tie the game, but Mujica got out of inning without any more damage. Although he gave up a run, Mujica still extended his scoreless streak to 16 innings.
– Both teams scored two runs each in the eighth inning. Three Milwaukee singles, a Daniel Descalso error and a Gomez stolen base led to the two Brewers runs in the top half. Then with two outs and Carpenter on first, Yadier Molina hit his 18th home run of the season in the bottom of eighth. The homer brought his 2012 RBI total to 65, tying his career-high in 2011.
– Matt Holliday was originally in the starting lineup, but was scratched right before game time because Matheny did not want to him to play after such a long rain delay. Holliday left Tuesday evening’s game with lower back tightness. He ended up pinch-hitting in the ninth inning Friday night and grounded out.
Well, that was a frustrating night for the Cardinals. Not only did they use six pitchers and have Jason Motte pitch two innings, but they also lost the extra-inning affair. It was such a long night that fans who got there in time for the first pitch were there for almost seven hours. St. Louis is now 3-10 this season in games that have lasted longer than nine innings.
In other news, Chris Carpenter took one more big step towards returning to the Cardinals this season. He threw a bullpen on Friday afternoon similar to one thrown by a starting pitcher between starts.
What’s Next: The Cardinals and Brewers play the second of their three-game weekend series at 6:15 pm central time on Saturday. The night game can be seen on Fox Sports Midwest and as always, pre and post game information can be found on CardsBlog. Go Cards.