Deprived of what appeared to be a sure win his last time out, Garrett Stephenson hopes to end a five-start winless streak when the struggling St. Louis Cardinals resume a four-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.
Stephenson tossed seven scoreless innings at Fenway Park on Thursday, leaving the game with a seemingly safe 3-0 lead. But the St. Louis bullpen imploded and the Cardinals needed 13 innings to pull out a wild 8-7 victory.
Stephenson is 0-3 over his last five starts. He had yielded 18 runs over 23 2-3 innings in four outings before Thursday’s gem. His last win came in a 6-3 triumph over Cincinnati on May 15, when he allowed one run and two hits over seven innings.
The Cardinals have lost five of six, and haven’t had a starting pitcher post a win in nine outings.
After suffering a three-game sweep to the Yankees in New York, the Cardinals were pounded 9-4 by the Brewers in Monday’s series opener.
Keith Osik had a solo homer and two-run double during Milwaukee’s seven-run, seventh-inning outburst as the Brewers improved to 7-6 in June.
St. Louis Mike Matheny continued to flourish in Milwaukee, setting a career high with four hits, including a homer and two doubles. He raised his career batting average at Miller Park to .428 (27-for-63) over 18 games.
STANDINGS: Cardinals - 3rd place, 3 GB, NL Central. Brewers - 6th place, 10 GB, NL Central.
CARDINALS PROBABLE STARTER: Stephenson (3-5, 4.39 ERA). Stephenson suffered a 6-1 home loss to Milwaukee on April 15, surrendering six runs and nine hits over four innings. He is 1-1 with a 4.96 ERA in three career starts against the Brewers.
BREWERS PROBABLE STARTER: Matt Kinney (5-4, 3.92 ERA). Kinney has won his last two starts despite allowing eight runs and 14 hits over 12 innings. The right-hander yielded three runs and seven hits over six innings in Thursday’s 6-5 win over Florida. He made his season debut against St. Louis on April 3, surrendering four runs and nine hits over 5 1-3 innings in a 6-4 loss. That was Kinney’s first career appearance against the Cardinals.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Cardinals - Albert Pujols, .378 avg., 56 RBIs and 57 runs; Pujols and Jim Edmonds, 18 HRs; Edgar Renteria, 12 SBs. Brewers - Geoff Jenkins, .277 avg.; Richie Sexson, 21 HRs, 47 RBIs and 48 runs; Eric Young, 16 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Cardinals, 5-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Cardinals - 3B Scott Rolen missed a start for the second time this season Monday. He was replaced by INF Eduardo Perez because of a stiff neck and sore shoulders, the result of a collision at home plate and various tumbling defensive plays over the last few days. … OF Orlando Palmeiro is 5-for-10 career against RHP Kinney. … Four Cardinals are on a pace to drive in more than 100 runs—OF Pujols (133), Rolen (123), SS Renteria (109) and OF Edmonds (104). They’ve never had more than two players with 100 or more RBIs in a single season. Brewers - RHP Todd Ritchie will have season-ending shoulder surgery Tuesday. He was 1-2 with a 5.08 ERA in five starts before fatigue led to a diagnosis of a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder. … 2B Young is 1-for-13 career against RHP Stephenson. … The Brewers haven’t won consecutive games since opening the month by winning four in a row.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Cardinals - 13-21 on the road; Brewers - 13-23 at home.
INJURIES: Cardinals - C Steve Torrealba (elbow), 15-day DL; C Chris Widger (thumb), 15-day DL; INF Fernando Vina (hamstring), 15-day DL; OF Eli Marrero (ankle), 15-day DL; LHP Lance Painter (pelvis), 15-day DL; RHP Russ Springer (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Chris Carpenter (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Gene Stechschulte (shoulder), 60-day DL. Brewers - RHP Nick Neugebauer (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Ritchie (shoulder), 15-day DL.
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