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Brewers walk to 5-4, ten inning victory over Cardinals

Matt Albers turns blown save into win

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee Brewers
3-4, two doubles, sac bunt for Eric Sogard
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

WP: Matt Albers (2-0) LP: Greg Holland (0-1) Save: none Home runs: none

Here’s yer box score!

The Milwaukee Brewers (6-5) entered tonight’s game in St. Louis against the Cardinals (4-6) with the fewest walks in major league baseball. Greg Holland, making his first appearance of the season since signing with St. Louis, personally tried to pull the Crew up the bases on balls list by walking four of the five batters he faced (Eric Sogard had a sacrifice bunt) to force in the go-ahead run in the top of the tenth in Milwaukee’s extra inning win.

Travis Shaw and Domingo Santana led off the tenth with walks and Sogard’s bunt put them on second and third. Manny Pina was intentionally walked to load the bases, and Orlando Arcia walked on a 3-1 pitch to force in Shaw. Bud Norris came on to get the final two outs.

Matt Albers, who had given up the tying run in the bottom of the ninth to send the game into extra innings, but retired the side in order with two strikeouts in the bottom of the tenth and notched his second win of the young season.

Milwaukee got to Cards starter Miles Mikolas for two in the top of the second, taking the early lead for the first time in what seems like a century. Shaw narrowly missed a homerun on a line-drive down the right field line just off the top of the wall for a double. Santana grounded a single up the middle to drive in Shaw and two outs later Arcia grounded a double just inside the first base bad to plate Santana.

The Cardinals had lead-off hits in their first two innings against Brewer starter Jhoulys Chacin but ran into outs both times. Dexter Fowler lined a single into the left centerfield gap but was thrown out at second an a good throw by Lorenzo Cain, and Marcell Ozuna doubled down the third base line and was out trying for a triple on a long strike from the wall by Ryan Braun.

Chacin lost control in the bottom of the third, walking three and giving up two hits that totaled three runs for a 3-2 Cardinals’ lead. He pitched around a one out double in the fourth, and an error on a lead-off grounder by Arcia had a runner on third and two down in the fifth when Ozuna came up. Ozuna had two hard hits in his two at bats against Chacin and Craig Counsell went with Jeremy Jeffress to end the threat. JJ came through with a swinging strike three that preserved a 4-3 Brewer lead. Chacin ended the day with 4 13 innings, five hits, three earned runs, the three third inning walks, and one strikeout.

The Crew had retaken the lead in the top of the fourth, again with the middle of the order. Shaw singled to lead it off, and one out later Sogard singled to right. Fowler mishandled the ball, allowing Shaw to get to third and Sogard to second. Manny Pina’s single plated both, and the Brewers were up 4-3.

The Brewers stranded runners in scoring position in the sixth, seventh, and eighth as they were unable to extend the lead. A two-out double by Sogard went unrequited in the sixth, the Crew left ‘em loaded in the seventh with Travis Shaw making the third out, and another double from Sogard, this time with one out, was stranded in the eighth.

With one out in the top of the ninth Cain legged out an infield single but tripped over Jose Martinez, the Cards first baseman. Both players left the game, and the Brewers failed to score.

Cain was limping slightly and the Brewers now have another reason to give him tomorrow off. According to Tom Haudricourt:

Brewer relief pitching was lights out in the sixth, seventh, and eighth. Jeffress had three groundouts in the sixth, Josh Hader walked the first hitter he saw but struck out four straight after that, handing the ball over to Jacob Barnes, who struck out the two that he faced to end the eighth.

But it was deja vu all over again for the Brewers in the bottom of the ninth. Three infield hits and a sacrifice fly off of Matt Albers tied things up again, much like Saturday’s game against the Cubs, but Albers was able to get out of the inning on a groundout to send the game to extra innings.

Brent Suter (1-1, 6.30) will go for Milwaukee tomorrow night in the second game of the series. Cards’ ace Carlos Martinez (1-1, 2.84), who shut out the Brewers through 8 13 innings last week, will take the hill.