W: Kintzler, 3-3
L: Siegrist, 1-4
HR: Parra (9)
The Brewers battled back from a brutal first inning to hold the Cardinals scoreless for 11 straight innings and managed just enough offense to eke out a critical victory tonight in extra innings. Gerardo Parra and Wily Peralta kept them in the game early, and a couple of September callups drove in runs to take home the win.
In the first, the Cardinals BABIPed their way to three weak singles to right field. Wily Peralta then walked in a run on his 18th pitch of the first inning with no one out. The Brewers turned a 6-4-3 double play on the next pitch, and then Peralta made a jumping grab of a bouncer up the middle to throw out Yadier Molina at first to close out the inning having only allowed 2 runs.
Peralta got past a leadoff baserunner in the second but the Brewres could not turn 4 hits in the first 3 innings into any runs. In the bottom of the 4th, Gerardo Parra hit a solo home run to right-center.
The Cardinals had opportunities through the middle innings, but no one was able to cash in. Peralta was efficient, and after the 1st held the Cardinals scoreless on 98 total pitches, giving up 5 hits and 2 walks against 3 strikeouts. Meanwhile, Lance Lynn pounded the inner half of the plate, and both pitchers benefitted from an interesting strike zone all night. The most egregious example happened with two outs in the sixth, when Ryan Braun was rung up looking on pitch 6 here (2 and 4 were swinging strikes):
The Brewers popped out 3 consecutive times on 4 pitches in the 7th, when they had Lance Lynn near 100 pitches and had a chance to get him out of the game. The popout party extended into the 8th inning against Pat Neshek, who induced easy flyouts from pinch-hitter Lyle Overbay and Carlos Gomez. Scooter Gennett broke the streak with a strikeout.
Will Smith worked the bottom of the 8th and needed a scoreless frame badly. With an out and runners on first and second, Matt Carpenter laced a shot to left but Parra made an impressive running catch in left (his 3rd fantastic catch of the game). Smith struck out John Jay on a ball in the dirt, and Lucroy scrambled to throw him out and end the inning.
Going in to the bottom half, the Brewers hadn't had a hit since Parra's home run in the 4th or a baserunner since a Gomez walk in the 5th. Lucroy turned the momentum a bit by leading off the frame with a walk. Aramis Ramirez took a pitch off the outside corner for strike 1, and after venting his frustrations a bit came back to lob a hanging 0-2 changeup down the left field line for a double that advanced pinch-runner Hector Gomez to third for Ryan Braun. Braun got jammed on an 0-2 fastball inside and grounded back to Trevor Rosenthal, who got the out at first for an out and held the runners at 2nd and 3rd.
All this set the stage for Matt Clark-- September callup, folk hero, and icon. Clark didn't hit another home run, but got the job done by getting just enough of a ball hit out to left field, and Hector Gomez was able to beat Matt Holliday's throw to the plate with a nice slide. Jean Segura battled to a full count but ended up grounding out to end the inning with 2 runners aboard. The Brewers headed to extras with both Ramirez and Lucroy out of the lineup, having been pulled for pinch runners.
Jonathan Broxton continued his impressive run with the Brewers by tossing an uneventful scoreless ninth. In the 10th, Carlos Gomez punched a 1-out single up the middle but Scooter Gennett and Hector Gomez (in at 3rd for Aramis Ramirez) couldn't cash him in, and Gomez never attempted to take 2nd base. Jeremy Jeffress came on to work the bottom of the 10th and after falling behind 3-0 in the count to Yadier Molina, he came back to work a perfect inning.
With 2 outs in the 11th, Parra came through with a double to left-center. The Cardinals intentionally walked Feared Power Hitter Matt Clark to face Jean Segura, who chopped the first pitch back to the mound to end the threat. Zach Duke faced a string of 3 lefties in the bottom half and got 2 of them out. Brandon Kintzler got Matt Holliday to ground out and send the game to the 12th inning.
With 1 out in the 12th, Carlos Gomez walked and stole second on Kevin Siegrist and Molina. Mark Reynolds pinch hit for Scooter Gennett and ripped a shot to left but Holliday ran it down near the warning track in left center. On the next pitch, Gomez caught the Cardinals napping and he stole 3rd base with Hector Gomez batting. The Gomez combo then teamed up for the go-ahead run when Hector blooped a single over the head of Matt Adams at first base and Carlos made it home easily (which he would not have been able to do from second base).
K-Rod got through the bottom of the 12th, but not without a close call. With 1 out he fell behind Jhonny Peralta 3-0 and grooved 2 straight fastballs down the middle. Peralta hit the second one to the wall in left, but Parra caught it for the out. A flyout from Yadier Molina to Braun in right then ended the game.
The Brewers stay 1.5 back of the Pirates and are back in action tomorrow night against the Cardinals at 7:15.