leads hits parade as Brewers blast Cardinals
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[September 09, 2016]
ST. LOUIS -- In his career, St.
Louis Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia has been very tough against
the Milwaukee Brewers, entering Thursday night's game with an 11-5
record and 2.61 ERA.
But that version of Garcia didn't show up, replaced instead by the
one that keeps forcing the bullpen into action early in games.
Failing to last past five innings for the fourth time in his last
five starts, Garcia ate his fourth straight loss as Milwaukee
pounded out 17 hits in a 12-5 rout that dropped St. Louis out of a
tie for the National League's second wild card spot.
Garcia (10-12) worked just 3 2/3 innings, giving up eight hits and
five runs with a walk and three strikeouts. It was a far cry from
his previous two outings at Busch Stadium against the Brewers this
year, 7-0 and 8-1 wins in which he gave up just a run in 17 innings,
fanning 13 in the first game.
So what was the difference in this Garcia from the one who Milwaukee
"I think he made more mistakes over the middle of the plate,"
Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado said. "In the past, when we had him
on the ropes, he'd find a way to get out of the inning."
Not this time. Milwaukee (63-77) signaled a sea change in the second
inning with back-to-back two-out solo homers by Domingo Santana, his
seventh, and Orlando Arcia, his third.
The Brewers collected two more runs in the third on an infield out
by Ryan Braun and an RBI double by Hernan Perez, who led their
onslaught by going 4-for-5 with three RBIs. It was the second time
in three days that Perez bagged four hits, tying a career high.
Even when Garcia got an out, things managed to go wrong. In the
process of fanning pitcher Junior Guerra for the fourth inning's
second out, Garcia tossed a wild pitch that allowed Arcia to score
for a 5-1 advantage.
Following a four-pitch walk to Jonathan Villar, Garcia left, the
fans cheering derisively as manager Mike Matheny waved for Miguel
"Early on, I felt pretty good," Garcia said. "I was able to make
some good pitches. After that, I just didn't get the job done. It
was just a bad day overall."
Kolten Wong's two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth drew the
Cardinals (73-66) within 5-3, but Milwaukee treated reliever Mike
Mayers even more harshly than Garcia.
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After Chris Carter's sacrifice fly in the fifth gave the Brewers a
three-run lead, Maldonado cracked a two-strike, two-run homer off
Mayers in the sixth to make it 8-3. Two more hits and a walk knocked
out Mayers, and reliever Dean Kiekhefer coughed up a sacrifice fly
to Braun, a two-run double to Perez and an RBI single to Santana for
a 12-3 cushion.
The last 3 1/2 innings were a slog to the final out as Milwaukee won
for the seventh time in eight games -- the only loss was at the
Chicago Cubs' hands -- and extended its road winning streak to a
season-high five games.
"This is largely a group that's going to be around next year,"
manager Craig Counsell said. "There's competition for playing time,
and that helps."
Arcia finished with three hits, tying his career high, while
Maldonado went 2-for-4. Even Guerra (8-3) produced a pair of hits in
addition to pitching five innings for the win. Guerra gave up six
hits and three runs, walking two and fanning two.
The result dropped St. Louis a half-game behind the New York Mets
for the second wild card spot and a full game behind San Francisco
for the first wild card. The Cardinals fell to 30-38 at Busch
Stadium, their most losses in the stadium's 11-season existence.
"We're going to have to clean it all up," manager Mike Matheny said.
NOTES: St. Louis RHP Michael Wacha (right shoulder inflammation)
threw a bullpen session Wednesday and reported no ill effects.
Wacha, who's been disabled since Aug. 9, is hopeful of contributing
as a member of the bullpen before the season ends. ... Milwaukee 3B
Jonathan Villar's two-homer game against the Chicago Cubs Wednesday
night was the fourth in franchise history by a switch-hitter. ...
Cardinals SS Aledmys Diaz (right thumb fracture) started a rehab
assignment at Double-A Springfield Wednesday night, going 0-for-4.
He'll play again Friday night.
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