Yost ejected for second straight game, Brewers beat Cardinals 13-5
MILWAUKEE (AP)—If the Milwaukee Brewers are going down, they’re going down swinging.
And so is their manager.
Prince Fielder hit his NL-leading 48th home run and Ned Yost was ejected for the second consecutive game—this time along with his catcher and hitting coach — in the Brewers’ 13-5 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday.
Milwaukee moved within three games of the first-place Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.
After the victory, Yost didn’t bash the umpires the way he did after getting tossed in Atlanta on Sunday, and again before Monday’s game.
“Really, I’ve got no comment,” Yost said. “We played a great ballgame, and some of this stuff gets a little out of hand.”
Still, simply winning in the final week of the season won’t be enough to save the Brewers’ fading playoff hopes.
They’ll need some cooperation from the Cubs, who were off Monday and finish the season with six games on the road. Chicago’s magic number—the combination of Cubs wins and Brewers losses needed to clinch the division title—remained at four.
Yost doesn’t want his players doing too much math this week. He’d prefer they just concentrate on trying to win the rest of their games.
Easier said than done, catcher Damian Miller said.
“You can’t help it,” said Miller, ejected before the seventh inning. “It’s human nature to try to figure it out.”
Brewers starter Dave Bush (12-10) said the team’s continued squabbling with umpires was an indication that players haven’t lost their intensity.
“We’re in a tough spot right now and really have to win all of our games,” Bush said. “Everyone’s a little fired up right now, and sometimes it gets expressed in different ways.”
With Milwaukee leading 11-2 in the sixth, Yost joined Fielder in arguing a called third strike with plate umpire Phil Cuzzi.
Both went back to the dugout without getting ejected despite their recent high-profile umpire confrontations; Fielder served a two-game suspension last month for inappropriate contact with an umpire.
Asked about the call after the game, Fielder punted.
“I just work here,” Fielder said.
Geoff Jenkins’ RBI single put the Brewers up 12-2, but the real fireworks had only begun.
After Cuzzi called Miller out on strikes to end the inning, Miller turned back to bark at Cuzzi as he walked to the dugout. Cuzzi then ejected Brewers hitting coach Jim Skaalen between innings after he started arguing from the dugout—and Miller was tossed after he began to argue with Cuzzi as the catcher walked out to take his place behind home plate.
Asked if he put on his catcher’s gear knowing he probably would get ejected right away, Miller said yes.
“Pretty much,” Miller joked. “There was some premeditation.”
Yost also came out to argue that call but remained in the game.
Cuzzi finally tossed Yost in the top of the seventh, after the manager once again left the dugout to argue after Cuzzi called Rick Ankiel safe at home on a two-run single by Ryan Ludwick that made the score 12-5.
Before Monday’s game, Yost—a protege of Atlanta’s Bobby Cox, the most-ejected manager in major league history—said he stood by his comments after Sunday’s game.
“If the truth gets you in trouble, then the heck with it,” Yost said.
But afterward, Yost insisted that his ejection Monday had nothing to do with his criticism of the umpiring crew on Sunday. Yost said he was angry after Sunday’s game because the umpires in Atlanta weren’t giving the Brewers the respect they deserved.
“I’ve got no problems with their effort tonight—none,” Yost said. “We just argued balls and strikes. That happens every day.”
Yost’s ejection came after the Brewers had the game well in hand. Milwaukee scored four runs off starter Adam Wainwright (13-12) before he got his first out.
Only four of the nine runs Wainwright gave up were earned as the Cardinals made three errors, which manager Tony La Russa blamed partly on the playing surface.
“There’s a lot of great things about this ballpark, but it’s tough dirt,” La Russa said. “It’s a challenge. It’s good for the hitters, a lot of light. But some of those balls look like routine plays, but they’re not.”
The four-run first included a three-run homer by Fielder, who clanged an 0-1 pitch off a steel girder high in right-center field. Milwaukee then put the game out of reach with five runs in the fifth and three in the sixth, including a two-run homer by rookie Ryan Braun, his 33rd.
Albert Pujols, who had missed five straight starts because of a strained left calf muscle, talked La Russa into allowing him to start.
Pujols came in needing one RBI to become the first player to reach 100 in his first seven seasons but was 0-for-3 with a walk.
“It feels OK,” Pujols said. “Am I playing tomorrow? I don’t know.”
Cardinals C Yadier Molina and LHP Mark Mulder had surgery in St. Louis and will miss the final week of the season. Molina had right knee surgery and Mulder had arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder. … Brewers C Johnny Estrada has a medial meniscus tear in his left knee and might miss the final week of the season.