Cardinals look to maintain hold on Brewers

Field Level Media

The St. Louis Cardinals will try to maintain their upper hand on the visiting Milwaukee Brewers as their three-game series continues Tuesday night at Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals won their fifth consecutive game against the Brewers on Monday night to remain atop the National League Central. They moved a half-game ahead of the idle Chicago Cubs and three games up on Milwaukee.

Dakota Hudson, Giovanny Gallegos and Andrew Miller combined on a one-hitter in St. Louis' 3-0 victory. The Cardinals worked around reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich, walking him three times.

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Yelich is batting .375 (12-for-32) with eight homers and 19 RBIs against St. Louis this season.

Yasmani Grandal got the only Brewers hit Monday night, a double with two outs in the eighth inning. He has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games, batting .325 (13-for-40) during that span.

Cardinals starting pitcher Michael Wacha (6-6, 5.44 ERA) has fared well against the Brewers. He is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in two starts against them this season and 6-0 with a 3.84 ERA in 13 career appearances against them.

Wacha won his last start against the Brewers back on April 17. He allowed two runs in six innings in a 6-3 Cardinals victory.

He has struggled lately, but he allowed just two runs in five innings at Cincinnati on Thursday in his latest start.

"I felt like I was attacking them well, getting ahead and then making pitches down in the zone and working off-speed off of that," Wacha told reporters. "Overall I felt good."

Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter reached base twice Monday with a single and a walk after suffering through a 1-for-13 series in Cincinnati. He is batting just .215, which raises questions about his everyday role during the stretch run.

"Your question is, 'How soon are you going to cast him aside?' essentially on some level, and I understand it," Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. "It's about production. But even when he's not at that elite performance level, just historically his performance level is so dramatically strong.

"He's starting to set career records for this organization. That can't be ignored. But we have guys playing well and production is important, and we're not going to turn a blind eye to that either."

After going 1-for-12 against the Reds, Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong hit his 22nd homer of the season Monday night.

Brewers left-hander Gio Gonzalez (2-1, 3.81 ERA) will face the Cardinals for the first time this season on Tuesday. In 10 career starts against them, he is 3-4 with a 3.21 ERA.

Gonzalez didn't get out of the fourth inning in his last start, a 6-5 victory over Minnesota on Wednesday. He allowed all five Twins runs on five hits -- including three solo homers -- in 3 2/3 innings.

"His command wasn't what we've seen from him," Brewers manager Craig Counsell told reporters. "He was fighting back in counts a lot. He didn't get count advantage very often."

Brewers outfielder Lorenzo Cain has been sidelined with a sore oblique muscle, but he is eager to return to the starting lineup. He pinch-hit Monday night and struck out.

"Thumb's great, knee's great, oblique's great," he told reporters before the game. "And I've got three kids, and they're great."

--Field Level Media

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