It was a back and forth battle on Easter Sunday, but in the end, the Brewers came out ahead as they took a series tie with a 6-5 win.
In his first start of the season, Aaron Ashby got into trouble early when he loaded the bases in the first inning. However, he came back strong with two strikeouts to end the first and keep the Cardinals off the board. That let the Brewers get the early lead. The first three Brewers batters reached base on two walks and a hit by pitch. They would all come around to score. Andrew McCutchen brought the first in on a sacrifice fly, and Rowdy Tellez the second with an RBI double. The third came on a fly ball from Keston Hiura that wasn’t deep enough to score Christian Yelich from third, and Yelich smartly held up. However, Rowdy Tellez was caught off second base and catcher Andrew Knizner threw to second to try to get Tellez, who would have been an easy out. His throw was off, and Yelich ran and scored when Knizner threw the ball, giving the Brewers a 3-0 lead.
Unfortunately, the Cardinals would tie it back up relatively quickly. The Cardinals began the first when Dylan Carlson reached on a throwing error by Kolten Wong. It was initially ruled out, but the Cardinals challenged and the call was overturned. After Tyler O’Neill walked, Albert Pujols brought in all three with a home run to left and tied the game. Because of the inning starting error, all three runs were considered unearned for Ashby.
Patience paid off for the Brewers in the fourth inning. Singles from Keston Hiura and Tyrone Taylor put two runners on, and Jace Peterson walked to load the bases. With two outs, Willy Adames worked the count full, and then took a ball four significantly outside the strike zone to give the Brewers back the lead at 4-3. Unfortunately, Yelich grounded out to end the inning and leave the bases loaded. It was a 2-for-12 day with runners in scoring position for the team as a whole.
The Brewers tacked on two more in the seventh when they loaded the bases once again. After intentionally walking Omar Narvaez to load them, Tyrone Taylor made the Cardinals pay for it. A double down the left field line scored two, and the Brewers increased their lead to 6-3.
Devin Williams came in to start the closing punch for the Brewers, but it wasn’t his day. After a strikeout to start the inning, he allowed a double and a walk to put two runners on base. A Tommy Edman single scored one, and a bases loaded walk brought a second run in. With the bases loaded and two outs, Trevor Gott came in to finish the inning. He got Dylan Carlson to ground out to end the inning, holding the Brewers lead at 6-5.
Josh Hader came in for the save in the ninth and didn’t play around. A 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts secured the win for the Brewers. It was his 100th save of his career.
Between the two pitching staffs, it was a rough day. While the two combined for seventeen strikeouts, they also had a combined fourteen walks. Seven of those were on the Brewers side, with starter Aaron Ashby allowing four and Devin Williams the other three. Ashby had a bit of a rough day, allowing three runs (none earned) with four strikeouts. Devin Williams also struggled with two runs allowed in 0.2 innings. However, the rest of the bullpen was stellar. Jake Cousins, Jandel Gustave, and Brad Boxberger each had a scoreless inning in relief, in addition to Trevor Gott’s inning escaping groundout and Josh Hader’s save. Between those relievers, they allowed a total of one baserunner (a hit from Cousins).
On offense, Andrew McCutchen and Tyrone Taylor each had two hit days. Willy Adames and Christian Yelich both went hitless, but each had two walks, and three of those four walks came around to score. The Brewers didn’t have a home run today and only had two extra-base hits, but managed to score six runs in the win.
Next up for the Brewers is the Pirates. Eric Lauer faces Zack Thompson to begin the series. First pitch is at 6:40 PM, and it will be on Bally Sports Wisconsin and the Brewers Radio Network.