Peralta's glove, Kelly's hammy are concerns coming out of loss to Brewers
Things were going fairly well for the Cardinals until a fifth inning in which Joe Kelly tweaked his hamstring trying to beat out a bunt and Jhonny Peralta muffed a line drive that led to three unearned runs in a loss to Milwaukee.
Joe Kelly (center) walks off the field with manager Mike Matheny (left) and trainer Greg Hauck after injuring his left leg while trying to beat out a bunt against the Brewers.
Benny Sieu / USA TODAY Sports
By Stan McNealFOX Sports Midwest
The Cardinals won another series but left Milwaukee without a feat that has eluded them during the season's first two weeks: A sweep.
Taking advantage of a two-out error by Jhonny Peralta, the Brewers scored three unearned runs in the fifth on the way to a 5-1 victory that gave them the last game of the three-game series and ended the Cardinals' winning streak at four.
The Cardinals lost more than a game, too. Starter Joe Kelly had to leave the game when he injured his left hamstring trying to beat out a bunt in the fifth inning. His status was not known immediately after the game.
Getting a sweep in their remaining two stops on this trip becomes more challenging for St. Louis. The Cardinals' series at Washington and the New York Mets both are scheduled for four games.
-- Yadier Molina. Allen Craig supplied the Cardinals' run with his first homer of the season, but Molina was the lone player in the lineup with two hits. A multi-hit game was nothing out of the ordinary for Molina, who has collected two hits in four of his past five games. He also extended a hitting streak to eight games and lifted his batting average to .352.
-- Jon Jay's playing time. Peter Bourjos was out of the lineup Wednesday, and you have to believe it wasn't because he needed a breather as much as it was a 1-for-4 showing on Tuesday that included two strikeouts. Plus, Jay has been producing enough to stay on the field if Bourjos isn't at the top of his game. Jay went 2 for 4, and both outs he made came on hard-hit balls.
-- Pat Neshek. The club's new right-handed reliever turned in another strong inning. Inheriting a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the eighth inning, Neshek walked the first batter he faced but then retired the next three Brewers to keep the game from getting out of hand. He struck out Rickie Weeks and Carlos Gomez to give him nine K's in 7 1/3 innings to go with a 2.45 ERA.
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-- Kelly's left hamstring. The Cardinals suffered what could be their first substantial injury of the season when Kelly left the game after a hard run to first base in the fifth. Kelly was able to show off his considerable speed hustling to first on the play, but his manager probably would not have minded if the right-hander had gone a little easier. The team reported "left hamstring tightness" for Kelly, which means it likely won't know for a day or two how much time he could miss.
-- Peralta. His bat has heated up but his defense cost the Cardinals on Wednesday. The line drive he missed initially was ruled a hit for Wily Peralta but was quickly -- and correctly -- changed to an error. The score was 1-1 in the fifth, two were out and no one was on when Peralta, who didn't have to move, flubbed the play. It was his fourth error of the season, equaling the total he made in 106 games at shortstop for the Tigers last season. Adding to a tough day, Peralta had a chance to rally the Cardinals but flew out with two on and two out in the sixth.
-- Cardinals' ironmen. Just 15 games into the season, only two Cardinals can say they've started every game, Matt Holliday and Matt Adams. The lineup's third Matt, Carpenter, missed his first start Wednesday but was summoned to pinch hit in the seventh and, after singling, stayed in the game. Carpenter was in a bit of a slump, for him anyway, with only one hit in his previous three games. Don't be surprised if he is given more time off this season than last, when he played in 157 regular-season games and admitted feeling tired by the end of October.
You can follow Stan McNeal on Twitter at @stanmcneal or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.