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Jesus Saves! Aguilar’s pinch-hit home run gives Milwaukee Brewers 5-4 win over Cardinals

The Brewers finally beat the Cardinals in a series!

Milwaukee Brewers v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images

Box Score

Rain flooded the St. Louis area over the last few days, causing Wednesday’s tilt between the Milwaukee Brewers and STL Cardinals to be postponed and Thursday’s start to be pushed back from 12:45 PM CST to 6:15 PM CST. Fortunately there was the all-important “window” that allowed the two teams to take the field and get a complete game in.

Chase Anderson got the start for the Brewers. He had been Milwaukee’s best starting pitcher early on, but has hit some bumps in the road now in his last two starts. Anderson wasn’t sharp against the Cardinals, giving up three runs in the third and another in the fifth. He would last just 4.2 innings on the day, allowing four earned runs on seven hits. He walked three but did strike out six opposing batters, and his ERA now stands at 2.86 on the year.

Fortunately for Chase, the vaunted Brewers’ offense was there to pick him up. Adam Wainwright, who has typically dominated against the Brewers during his long and storied career, got the start for the Cardinals. Adam hasn’t been very good this season, however (or last year for that matter), and the Brewers put plenty of pressure on the 35 year old last night. After stranding runners in the first and second innings, Milwaukee broke through for three runs in the third thanks to a two-run double by Travis Shaw and an RBI double by Keon Broxton.

The Brewers stranded two more runners in the fourth inning, but tied the game up at 4 apiece in the fifth inning thanks to a solo homer by Broxton. Keon came into last night’s game with a paltry 54 wRC+ for the year, but a 4-4 night with a homer and double raised his overall line to a palatable .234/.306/.403 in 85 plate appearances for an 82 wRC+.

The game would remain tied until the 7th inning, when Craig Counsell turned to Jesus Aguilar to pinch hit off of the bench. Aguilar had registered just one hit in his last 22 plate appearances, but he deposited an 86 MPH slider from Matt Bowman over the fence in left field to give Milwaukee a 5-4 lead. It was Aguilar’s first big league home run in his 109th career plate appearance, and helped raise the spring training star’s batting line to an overall .238/.289/.357 (69 wRC+) on the season.

Milwaukee’s bullpen hasn’t been great so far this year, but they did some excellent work in this game to finish off the Cardinals. After Anderson’s short start, Jhan Marinez got the final out of the fifth inning before giving way to Oliver Drake, Carlos Torres, Corey Knebel, and Neftali Feliz, each of whom pitched a scoreless inning to close out a 5-4 Brewers’ victory. Feliz picked up his 8th save of the season.

The win improves the Brewers’ record to back over the .500 mark at 15-14, leaving them just 1.5 games back of the Cubs in the NL Central. It also gave Milwaukee a series victory over the Cardinals in the three-game set, the first time the Brewers have beaten St. Louis in a series since 2014.

Our local nine will now travel to Pittsburgh to begin a three-game series with the Pirates, who are currently in last place in the division at 12-16. First pitch for the first game is scheduled for 6:05 PM CST, with Jimmy Nelson (1-2, 5.34 ERA) slated to face off against Chad Kuhl (1-2, 6.26 ERA).

Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs