The Milwaukee Brewers rallied past the St. Louis Cardinals 4-3 Sunday night as catcher Jonathan Lucroy hit the go-ahead home run in the 10th inning. The Brewers trailed the Cardinals by three going into the eighth inning and stormed back to avoid their second sweep in just over a week.
Marco Estrada got the start on the mound for the Brewers and didn’t get a decision for the second time in three starts. Estrada gave up three earned runs off seven hits in six innings of work on Sunday.
Matt Holliday opened up the scoring for the Cardinals with an RBI-single in the third inning. Allen Craig followed up Holliday with a single to center before Yadier Molina stretched the Cardinals lead to three.
Molina doubled to left center off Estrada as both Craig and Holliday crossed the plate. The Brewers couldn’t get anything going over the next four innings as Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia was tremendous on the mound.
Garcia held the Brewers scoreless through seven innings of nonstop pressure with five strikeouts. The Brewers stranded 21 runners on base and had plenty of chances to drive in runs against Garcia.
The 26-year-old left-hander gave up seven hits to the Brewers but left the game with a 3-0 lead. Trevor Rosenthal came into the game in relief of Garcia in the eighth inning and allowed the Brewers to climb back in the game.
After shortstop Jean Segura singled, outfielder Ryan Braun hit an opposite-field home run to cut the Cardinals lead to one. The Cardinals went down in order in the bottom half, giving way to Mitchell Boggs for the save.
The Cardinals new closer failed to do his job for the second time this year as Yuniesky Betancourt drove in Carlos Gomez to tie the game with a double to right center. Boggs didn’t get one out in the ninth inning and was relieved after giving up the tying-run off two hits to the first two batters he faced.
Randy Choate and Edward Mujica kept the game tied at 3-3 as Betancourt was thrown out at home on a fielder’s choice later in the inning. The Cardinals seemed to have lost all momentum, and it showed in the bottom half as Brandon Kintzler shut down the Cardinals in order to head to extra innings.
After Fernando Salas got Rickie Weeks to foul out, Jonathan Lucroy gave the Brewers the lead with a solo home run to deep left center. It would be enough to get the win after a shaky start to the bottom of the 10th for the Brewers.
Kintzler walked David Freese who advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt to start bottom of the 10th. Kintzler was then relieved by Mike Gonzalez, who got Matt Carpenter to fly out before intentionally walking Matt Holliday.
With runners on first and second, Burke Badenhop came into the game to close out the Cardinals and got Carlos Beltran to groundout to short to end the game. Kintzler got his first win of the season in the Brewers’ comeback while Badenhop got his first save of the year.
The Brewers rally came at the right time, as Milwaukee has only won three games to start the year and are currently in fifth place in the NL Central. Can the Milwaukee Brewers climb up the division after a slow start to April and contend in the National League this season?
[Image via Jon Konrath]