Brewers top Cardinals 4-1, magic number now 11Wisconsin Sports
-- The Milwaukee Brewers gained back the ground they lost to Saint Louis a week ago, after beating the Cardinals 4-1 yesterday at Busch Stadium. The Brewers extended their division lead to 10-and-a-half games over second-place Saint Louis.
ST. LOUIS - The Milwaukee Brewers gained back the ground they lost to Saint Louis a week ago, after beating the Cardinals 4-1 yesterday at Busch Stadium. The Brewers extended their division lead to 10-and-a-half games over second-place Saint Louis.
It’s the same lead they had last Tuesday, before the Cards swept them for three games in Milwaukee. But the Brewers recovered with four straight wins. And they now have the largest division lead in all of baseball, with a magic number of 11 to clinch the National League Central with 20 games left. Randy Wolf, who got yesterday’s win, said the Brewers don’t panic and they don’t dwell over their setbacks. Wolf pitched eight solid innings, giving up a run on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts. He won his sixth decision in his last seven, and his record improved to 12-9. John Axford threw a perfect ninth for his 41st save.
Ryan Braun and Nyjer Morgan homered for Milwaukee. Yuniesky Betancourt had three hits. And Corey Hart singled to extend his hitting streak to 17 games. The Brewers out-hit the Redbirds 12-to-4. The Crew was up 2-0 in the fifth when Saint Louis scored its only run on a double-play grounder by Allen Craig. Jake Westbrook the loss, despite striking out nine in six innings. He’s now 11-8. Milwaukee second baseman Jerry Hairston Jr. is day-to-day after he left in the fourth inning with a sore neck.
The Brewers have won 14-of-their-last-17 road contests, and will play at Saint Louis again tonight. Right-hander Yovani Gallardo will face Cardinals’ right-hander Kyle Lohse.
The Brewers only made one call-up after Triple-“A” Nashville ended its season yesterday. Right-handed reliever Tim Dillard was brought back. The Brewers chose not to promote candidates like middle infielder Eric Farris and left-handed hitting Mat Gamel. Manager Ron Roenicke said quote, “More is not always necessarily good” – and it disrupts things, like having too many groups at batting practice. Roenicke said the Brewers are still trying to win games – and it would have been different if his goal was just to get a look at prospects. Dillard was sent down August 26th to make room for third baseman Taylor Green. Green had to be called up by the end of August for a chance at the post-season roster – and Dillard had to spend 10 days at Nashville before he could be eligible to return. Dillard has a four-point-eight-one ERA in 21 relief appearances with Milwaukee this season. But he has held right-handed batters to just a .196 average.
Ryan Braun has a chance to become the first Milwaukee Brewer to win a league batting title. He leads the National League at the moment with a .335 batting average – three points ahead of Jose Reyes of the New York Mets. Brewers’ hitting coach Dale Sveum said Braun is goal-oriented – and the prospect of winning a batting title will motivate him down the stretch. Sveum says Braun quote, “can go on a tear with the best of them.” He went 2-for-5 yesterday with a homer in the Brewers’ win over Saint Louis. Meanwhile, Milwaukee first baseman Prince Fielder is tied with Philadelphia’s Ryan Howard for the National League R-B-I lead, both with 107. Matt Kemp of the Dodgers is third with 106. Fielder did not drive anyone in yesterday.