The Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals played a twin-bill on Monday night at Miller Park, and game one featured Josh Lindblom versus Kwang Hyun Kim. Lindblom has struggled to be consistent in his first season since returning from Korea, eventually losing his spot in the rotation before he was pressed into action to begin this game. He made a strong case to get another crack as an initial out-getter during this outing, however, posting his best start of the season.
Lindblom allowed a single hit in each of the first three innings, but that was it. He navigated through five scoreless frames on 77 pitched, issuing zero walks and striking out six. He lowered his ERA to 5.26 in the process. Unfortunately for him, Milwaukee’s ineptitude at the plate continued. Each of Lindblom’s zeroes was matched by Kim, and the St. Louis starter wound up working seven scoreless frames — which would have been a complete game shutout with the shortened doubleheaders this year. But after Lindblom, Devin Williams and Josh Hader kept St. Louis off the board, so this game went into extra innings as a 0-0 tie.
Freddy Peralta came out for the eighth and retired the first two batters he faced. With two outs, however, Tommy Edman singled. Normally this would be harmless, but with the runner on second base rule in extra innings, that base hit plated Tyler O’Neill to give the Cards a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom half, Tyrone Taylor started on second base and Avisail Garcia lead off the inning with a walk against Ryan Helsley. Christian Yelich punched out, but then Ryan Braun doubled to center field to bring in the tying run and put men on second and third base. Austin Gomber came on for the Cardinals, and he walked Jace Peterson to load the bases. That brought up Keston Hiura, who lofted a fly ball to left field that allowed Garcia to scamper home. The walk-off sacrifice fly gave the Brewers a 2-1 victory in game one.
Corbin Burnes started game two for the Brewers, and he continued the dominant show that he’s put up of late — at least in the early going. He fired four scoreless frames to begin the game, striking out eight opposing batters. The Brewers staked him to a lead in the bottom of the fourth. With two outs, Dan Vogelbach singled to left. The next batter, Jedd Gyorko, clobbered a 1-0 fastball from Daniel Ponce de Leon over the fence to give Milwaukee a 2-0 lead.
His pitch count rising, Burnes failed to get through the fifth. He issued a leadoff walk and a two-out single and was pulled with 101 pitched after allowing five hits and three walks with 10 punchouts in 4.2 innings. Alex Claudio entered and immediately walked the bases loaded, then yielded an infield single to score one of Burnes’ runners and make it 2-1. Claudio escaped any further damage, however, and recorded the first two outs of the sixth inning before Eric Yardley came on and finished out the frame.
Yardley continued in the seventh, but immediately found trouble. Paul Goldschmidt doubled to start things and scored on a single by Brad Miller, tying the game at 2-2. After another single made it first and third with no out, Drew Rasmussen entered the game. He recorded three big outs to keep the game tied, including a grounder to short that got the runner out trying to score and a pair of punchouts.
The Brewers failed to score in the bottom of the seventh, meaning extra innings yet again. Rasmussen pitched a perfect eighth and it was Justin Topa’s turn in the ninth. He retired the first two batters on four pitches, but then Paul DeJong singled to left, scoring the runner Tommy Edman. Milwaukee couldn’t score in the bottom of the ninth, and the Brewers lost game two by a final of 3-2.
The series continues on Tuesday evening with first pitch scheduled for 6:40 PM at Miller Park. Jack Flaherty will get the ball opposite Brett Anderson.