WP: Matt Garza (5-6); LP: Luke Weaver (1-2); Save: Tyler Thornburg (6); Homeruns: Mil, Kirk Niuewenhuis (13); St.L Yadier Molina (5)
Pitching dominated tonight, as the Brewers had just four hits and the Cardinals only three in the Crew’s 3-1 victory. Matt Garza out-dueled Cards rookie Luke Weaver, and two Brewer relievers held St. Louis in check over the final two innings. All four runs tonight came via the home run.
Cardinal starter Luke Weaver retired the first eight hitters he faced before losing Matt Garza to a walk with a pitch just off the corner in the third. Jonathan Villar then doubled the opposite way to left on the second pitch he saw, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis played Home Kirk with a three run shot into the St. Louis bullpen.
Weaver then retired the next eight hitters before Nieuwenhuis bounced a single through the shift on the left side, and Braun doubled into the rightfield corner with Nieuwenhuis stopping at third on a late stop sign from Eddie Seder. Weaver worked very carefully to Hernan Perez, walking him on four pitches. So eight down, three on twice in a row. Unfortunately, no runs crossed the plate when Chris Carter popped up on the infield and Keon Broxton took a fastball right down the middle for strike three for the second time in the game.
Weaver exited after that, and his final line was six innings, four hits, three earned, two walks, and ten strikeouts.
Carter is now 0-12 with 8 strikeouts with the bases loaded on the season.
Garza allowed only two hits, both to Yadier Molina, through his first seven innings. The second of Molina’s hits was a line drive homer to left. He walked one and fanned seven in that stretch. Rather than pinch hit for Garza with two down and nobody on in the bottom of the seventh, Craig Counsell stuck with Matt and sent him out for the eighth.
Garza gave up a lead off single to Greg Garcia, then walked pinch hitter Stephen Piscotty to put two on with nobody out, and Carlos Torres came in with two on instead of starting his inning with nobody on.
Torres’ first hitter was Matt Carpenter, and he just missed giving the Cardinals a 4-3 lead when his drive down the rightfield line hooked just foul, then lined out to second on the next pitch. Jedd Gyorko struck out looking, but Brandon Moss walked on a 3-1 pitch.
Jhonny Peralta became the key hitter of the night, and for once the outcome was in the Brewers’ favor. Peralta took a 2-2 fastball to the warning track in straight away center that Broxton tracked down for the final out.
A different Broxton, ex-Brewer Jonathan, had the bottom half of the inning for the Cardinals. He had a perfect frame, K’ing Nieuwenhuis and Braun.
Tyler Thornburg came on for the save opportunity, this third appearance in the three game set. His 1-2-3 inning gave him his sixth save, and the Brewers salvaged the final game of the series, ending their last long homestand of the season with a 4-6 record.
After an off-day Thursday the Brewers (57-76) will be in Pittsburgh (67-63 pending tonight’s game in Chicago) for a quick road trip of three games. Junior Guerra (7-3, 2.93) makes his return to the rotation after his stay on the disabled list with elbow tightness. The TV broadcast tonight said that Friday’s starter for the Pirates is not yet determined.