While the St. Louis Cardinals continue to surge behind some stellar pitching, the Milwaukee Brewers ' struggles at the plate remain a big reason for their rough start.
The Cardinals have not shut out four straight opponents in a single season in almost 70 years but have that chance Sunday against the visiting Brewers, who were last blanked in three consecutive games in 1972.
St. Louis (7-4) has outscored Cincinnati and Milwaukee 25-1 during its four-game winning streak, and its pitchers have thrown 32 straight scoreless innings during that run. Though the Cardinals' last string of four straight shutouts spanned the last two games of the 1962 season and first three of 1963, they have not done so in the same season since July 6-11, 1943."I said it in the beginning of the season, this league doesn't really know what kind of arms we have," said St. Louis' Adam Wainwright , who tossed a four-hitter and struck out 12 while also recording three hits with two RBIs in Saturday's 8-0 win. "We have some great arms. The world is seeing that."
Next up is left-hander Jaime Garcia (1-0, 2.92 ERA), who allowed three runs and struck out 10 in 6 2-3 innings of St. Louis' last loss, 13-4 to the Reds on Monday.
Including the postseason, Garcia is 4-4 with a 3.48 ERA in 11 starts against the Brewers (2-8). At home, however, he's posted a 1.36 ERA in six.
Minus injured sluggers Corey Hart and Aramis Ramirez , Milwaukee has scored three runs during a three-game slide and been held to six hits in this series. The only time the Brewers were shut out in three straight games was May 3-6, 1972."When things don't go your way, it's always just `Here we go again," ' said second baseman Rickie Weeks , who is 1 for 22 with 13 strikeouts in the last five games. "We are going to keep our heads up, that's what we do around here."
Dating to a 6-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday, the Brewers have failed to score in 25 straight innings. They've also struck out 30 times and walked four times over the last three contests."We need guys on base," said manager Ron Roenicke , whose team has one homer in its last six games. "We're not putting any pressure on anybody."
Milwaukee star Ryan Braun , who missed time with neck spasms, is 0 for 7 with six strikeouts in the series."You can see on some of the swings, he's not his usual self," said Roenicke, who believes Braun is not quite 100 percent.
After Yovani Gallardo was tagged for six runs in 5 1-3 innings Saturday, the Brewers send Marco Estrada (1-0, 4.50) to the mound in the finale. He allowed a two-run homer and four other hits in seven innings of a 7-4 win at Chicago on Monday.
"As long as I don't leave balls up, I should be OK," he said.
Estrada is 0-2 with a 3.75 ERA as a starter against the Cardinals, with both coming at Busch Stadium.
St. Louis' Matt Holliday , who drove in a pair of runs Saturday, is 5 for 10 with two doubles versus Estrada.
Batting .333 in his last six games, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina is 6 for 11 with a homer against the right-hander.
|April 12, 2013||Alex Gonzalez||Day-to-Day||Left hand contusion|
|April 07, 2013||Jean Segura||Day-to-Day||Left game - bruised left quad|
|April 07, 2013||Chris Narveson||15-Day DL||Sprained middle finger|
|April 06, 2013||Aramis Ramirez||15-Day DL||Left knee sprain|
|April 05, 2013||Ryan Braun||Day-to-Day||Neck spasms|
|March 25, 2013||Mark Rogers||15-Day DL||Right shoulder instability|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|March 24, 2013||Rafael Furcal||15-Day DL||Right elbow surgery - out for season|
|March 23, 2013||David Freese||15-Day DL||Strained lower back|
|March 23, 2013||David Freese||15-Day DL||Strained lower back|
|March 22, 2013||Jason Motte||15-Day DL||Strained right elbow|
|March 07, 2013||Rafael Furcal||Day-to-Day||Right elbow surgery - out for season|
|February 22, 2013||Chris Carpenter||60-Day DL||Nerve irritation, right shoulder|
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- After setting a team record for the most consecutive innings without scoring a run, the Milwaukee Brewers now have a new streak going - one they much prefer.
Jonathan Lucroy hit a solo homer in the 10th inning as the Brewers rallied past the St. Louis Cardinals 4-3 Sunday and avoided a sweep.
The Brewers had been shut out in 32 innings before Ryan Braun hit a two-run homer off reliever Trevor Rosenthal in the eighth that made it 3-2.
Milwaukee tied it with another run in the ninth and then won on Lucroy's shot. Lucroy credited Braun with getting the Brewers on track.
"After he hit that homer, we had a little bit rolling," Lucroy said. "You could feel the tide turn a little bit. I think we were pressing a lot to score some runs. That was a big homer that opened it up for us. It let us relax and play a little better."
Braun's second home run of the season snapped a 39-inning shutout streak for St. Louis pitchers. The Brewers had not scored since the second inning Tuesday against the Cubs and had lost three in a row.
"It's been a scuffle," Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. "It's been really difficult to get wins thus far. We did a nice job battling back in the eighth and the ninth. That's always a positive."
Milwaukee tied it in the ninth on a leadoff single by Carlos Gomez and an RBI double by Yuniesky Betancourt off Mitchell Boggs . The Cardinals' closer-for-now left without retiring a batter and blew his second save in five chances.
"This was there for us to take," Boggs said. "The bottom line is I had a chance to get the win for us and I didn't get the job done."
After retiring Rickie Weeks on a fly to start the 10th, Fernando Salas (0-2) gave up Lucroy's first home run of the season.
"Any time is a good time for a homer," Lucroy said. "I haven't had a lot of success ofd that guy in the past. It was nice to hit a ball hard off him."
Brandon Kintzler (1-0) pitched a scoreless ninth and got the first out in the 10th. Burke Badenhop retired pinch-hitter Carlo Beltran on a grounder for the final out and his first save.
Matt Adams had another big day in the loss for St. Louis, as he had a solo home run and a single in four at-bats. Adams has homered in three straight games and has a hit in all five games he has played.
Adams is batting .611 (11-for-18) with three homers and eight RBI.
Matt Holliday had an RBI single and Yadier Molina an RBI double for the other St. Louis runs.
The Cardinals broke through for the game's first two runs against Marco Estrada with four consecutive two-out hits in the third, including an RBI single by Holliday and an RBI double to the gap by Molina. Allen Craig was thrown out at the plate trying to score on Molina's hit.
Adams made it five straight hits when he led off the fourth with a 419-foot homer to center that made it 3-0.
NOTES: Molina received his fifth consecutive Gold Glove award before the game. ... Milwaukee hitters in the cleanup spot are 2 for 30 since Aramis Ramirez went on the disabled list on April 6. Weeks was hitless in four tries from that spot Sunday, completing a 1-for-21 road trip. ... On Saturday, Adam Wainwright became the first St. Louis pitcher with a shutout in which he struck out at least one batter in every inning since Bob Gibson accomplished the feat on June 17, 1970, at San Diego.