Wednesday, April 30, 2014
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With 11-Inning Win, Brewers Move To 11-1 On Road

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[April 30, 2014]  ST. LOUIS  For the second consecutive game, the St. Louis Cardinals grabbed a 3-0 lead.

For the second consecutive game, the Milwaukee Brewers' short-handed lineup fought back to tie the score and then won a battle of bullpens.

First baseman Lyle Overbay's second RBI single of the night scored left fielder Khris Davis with the tiebreaking run in the top of the 11th inning Tuesday as the Brewers edged the Cardinals 5-4 at Busch Stadium.

Overbay failed badly on two sacrifice bunt attempts against Kevin Siegrist (0-1), but he slapped a 1-2 fastball up the middle and off the glove of diving second baseman Mark Ellis to knocking in the decisive run. Milwaukee improved to 11-1 on the road, 20-7 overall.

"The road record is remarkable," manager Ron Roenicke said. "The teams we're playing make it even more remarkable."

The Brewers own sweeps over the World Series champion Boston Red Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies away from Miller Park. What's more, they also can boast of a 6 1/2-game lead in the NL Central over St. Louis, last year's National League champion.

"We're just looking at it one game at a time," Milwaukee right-hander Kyle Lohse said. "We don't give in, we don't give up. We're trying to pile up wins."

Milwaukee managed to earn another victory with a patchwork lineup. Right fielder Ryan Braun (oblique), third baseman Aramis Ramirez (left elbow contusion) and shortstop Jean Segura (facial injuries) didn't start, although Segura pinch-hit in the ninth and bunted the first pitch for an out.

Roenicke said after the game that Ramirez wasn't available but didn't comment on Braun's status. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy got a scheduled night off to rest, essentially limiting the Brewers' bench to two healthy position players.

"We know this isn't going to last all season," Roenicke said of his team's .741 winning percentage, "but we're going to enjoy it as long as we can. We're doing things right."

Reliever Tyler Thornburg (3-0) pitched two hitless innings to earn the win, and closer Francisco Rodriguez worked around a two-out single by pinch hitter Daniel Descalso in the 11th for his major-league-leading 13th save.

The Cardinals (14-14) established a quick lead on a three-run homer by catcher Yadier Molina in the first, but Lohse gave up only four hits after that in his six-inning outing. He tied a season high with nine strikeouts and was in line for his fifth win before right fielder Allen Craig tripled home the tying run in the seventh off reliever Will Smith.

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Lohse also contributed offensively, capping a three-run fourth with a two-strike, two-out, two-run single off right-hander Lance Lynn that evened the score at 3.

"I went into swing mode," Lohse said. "If he had thrown a slider in the dirt, I probably would have swung over it, but he kept coming with fastballs and did me a favor. I was fortunate to flare one in there."

Center fielder Carlos Gomez lined his sixth homer of the year to left in the seventh, giving Milwaukee a short-lived 4-3 lead. Smith gave up his first run of the year in the bottom half of the inning, but he kept St. Louis from taking the lead by recording consecutive strikeouts of first baseman Matt Adams and Molina.

The Cardinals went only 1-for-5 with men in scoring position in another frustrating offensive performance. They led the league in runs last year, but they are averaging just 3.4 runs per game so far in 2014.

"We know we're a good offense," Adams said. "Stuff like that will happen. We just have to keep grinding. It's April."

Lynn left after five innings and 102 pitches, yielding five hits and three runs while walking two and fanning four.

NOTES: Milwaukee 2B Scooter Gennett has hit safely in 14 of 15 career games against St. Louis, recording a .364 average in 55 at-bats. ... St. Louis lost consecutive extra-inning games for the first time since June-30-July 1, 2006, against the Kansas City Royals. ... The Cardinals apparently will skip the turn of LHP Tyler Lyons when it comes up Friday against the Chicago Cubs. Manager Mike Matheny said after Lyons lost 6-1 Saturday to the Pittsburgh Pirates that Lyons would make his next scheduled start, but Lyons relieved Lynn in the sixth inning Tuesday.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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