The St. Louis Cardinals came to Milwaukee as the hottest team in baseball, and not even the return of Willy Adames and a start from Freddy Peralta could cool down the Redbirds on Monday night. St. Louis got to work right away in the top of the first inning against Peralta. He struck out the first two batters of the game on seven total pitches, but then Tyler O’Neill struck a single back through the middle to center field. Notorious Brewer-killer Nolan Arenado followed, and he cranked the first pitch he saw from Freddy — a center-cut, 95 MPH fastball — out over the fence in left-center to give the Cardinals a quick 2-0 lead.
Milwaukee answered back in the bottom half of inning number two. Facing off against the battered remains of Jon Lester, Avisail Garcia lofted an 87 MPH sinker out of the park in center field to get the Brewers on the board. Two batters later, the first pitch to Luis Urias was an 88 MPH sinker, which he clubbed for a home run to tie the game up at 2-2.
After that, however, Lester retired the next ten men who came to face him, not allowing another hit until a harmless two-out single by Jackie Bradley, Jr. in the bottom of the fifth. Lester allowed just three hits and no walks across his 6.0 complete innings, giving up just the two earned runs on the solo homers.
Peralta, on the other hand, could not hold the line in his final frame of work. He walked O’Neill to start the sixth inning, then gave up a single to Arenado to put runners of first and second. After a fly out, Yadier Molina strolled to the plate. He punched a ground ball through the infield to left, bringing home O’Neill to give St. Louis the 3-2 advantage. Peralta whiffed the final two batters of the inning, finishing his day with three earned runs allowed across 6.0 innings on seven hits, one walk, and with nine strikeouts.
Hunter Strickland allowed a run on a sacrifice fly in the seventh, then Molina drove in another with an RBI single off Brent Suter in the eighth. The Brewers, meanwhile, got only one runner on base over the final three innings — a Manny Pina walk in the eighth that was quickly erased by a JBJ double play ball. In the end, Milwaukee fell by a score of 5-2, giving St. Louis their 9th straight victory while preventing the Brewers from getting any closer to clinching the division title.
Game two of this series is scheduled to begin at 6:40 PM central on Tuesday night. Brandon Woodruff is set to toe the rubber versus Jake Woodford.