Brewers 5, Cardinals 4
ST. LOUIS (AP)—Milwaukee Brewers manager Ned Yost made some unusual moves Tuesday night to create a sense of urgency for his team.
He intentionally walked Albert Pujols in the third inning. He played his infield in in the fourth. He even pulled his starting pitcher after four innings.
It all worked as the Brewers rallied from an early four-run deficit for a 5-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Bill Hall, who had been batting .200 in July, hit a two-run double in the eighth to give the Brewers the lead.
“We had a tough decision in the fifth,” Yost said of lifting starter Doug Davis for a pinch hitter. “I figured, ‘Let’s go for it,’ and see if we can’t get back in the game. We had some big performances to do it.”
Lyle Overbay homered and Brady Clark had three hits and an RBI for the Brewers, who beat the Cardinals for only the second time in eight meetings and ended St. Louis’ five-game winning streak. The Cardinals, who led 4-0 entering the fifth, stranded 10 runners.
“We had a couple of chances to add runs and we missed,” manager Tony La Russa said. “And it was very costly.”
Pujols hit a two-run homer, his third in five games since the All-Star break, for the Cardinals. Scott Rolen and Einar Diaz each had an RBI, but the Cardinals lost for only the 10th time in 40 games against NL Central competition. They’re 52-3 when leading after seven innings.
Hall, who struck out as a pinch hitter in the seventh and stayed in the game, had been 0-for-9 before his liner to the opposite field just inside the right-field line off Julian Tavarez (1-2). It was the third straight hit off Tavarez following an infield hit by Geoff Jenkins off the pitcher’s glove that extended his hitting streak to 12 games and a single by Damian Miller that put runners at the corners.
“I was sitting off-speed the whole at-bat,” Hall said. “I figured with them throwing me a lot of offspeed pitches yesterday, why not do it with the game on the line and me needing a big hit? He finally threw me a slider I could put in play.”
Tavarez said he got thrown off his game after stabbing at Jenkins’ infield grounder, a ball he figured could have been easily fielded by second baseman Mark Grudzielanek.
“It’s tough not to react to it, so my reaction was to catch the ball and I should have never let it,” Tavarez said. “It cost me the game.”
Miller scored the go-ahead run on a close play at the plate with Diaz, the catcher, missing a sweeping tag on an off-line relay from right fielder Hector Luna.
Matt Wise (4-2) allowed one hit and struck out one in a scoreless seventh, Julio Santana escaped a two-on, two-out situation in the eighth by getting pinch-hitter Jim Edmonds to fly out and Derrick Turnbow worked the ninth for his 20th save in 22 chances.
Pujols hit his 25th homer into the Brewers’ bullpen in left with one out in the first on a full count off Doug Davis. That apparently impressed Yost to the point that Pujols was intentionally walked with one out and a runner on third in the third.
Since the break, Pujols is 7-for-20 with three homers and six RBIs and has scored seven runs.
Rolen’s sacrifice fly in the third and Diaz’ RBI single in the fourth made it 4-0.
Consecutive doubles by Miller and Russell Branyan to start the fifth plus an RBI single by Clark later in the inning cut the gap in half. Overbay hit his 12th homer off Jeff Suppan leading off the sixth.
The left-handed Davis lasted four innings, giving up four runs and six hits against a lineup loaded with seven right-handed hitters with Edmonds (hamstring, groin) and Larry Walker both resting. In two starts against the Cardinals this season he’s pitched 8 1-3 innings and surrendered eight runs.
The Cardinals’ 1982 World Series champions were honored before the game on Whitey Herzog bobblehead day. … A sellout crowd of 44,270 enabled the Cardinals to top 2 million in attendance Tuesday and the franchise is on pace for record numbers in the final season at Busch Stadium. … Jenkins is batting .413 (19-for-46) during his hitting streak. … After the game, the Brewers optioned RHP Wes Obermueller to Triple-A Nashville and recalled RHP Justin Lehr from there.