Though it was another loss – Milwaukee’s 13th in its last 15 games – the Brewers were able to find positives in Friday’s 7-6 setback in St. Louis.
After falling behind 6-0 after three innings, the Brewers crept back into the game on the strength of an Aramis Ramirez three-run home run in the fourth, only to watch St. Louis grab an unearned run back in the bottom of the inning.
But Ramirez blasted his second three-run home run of the night in the sixth inning to cut the deficit to 7-6.
“We needed to get back in it and he gives us three runs with the first one,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “We felt like we got back in it. Certainly the next one gets us one run away. We know they have good arms in the bullpen, but we felt pretty good at that time.”
Milwaukee had its chances to even the score, but failed to capitalize. Following Ramirez’s homer in the sixth, Carlos Gomez blooped a single and stole second base. Yuniesky Betancourt grounded out and Rickie Weeks struck out to end the threat.
The eighth inning quickly turned from the Brewers’ best chance to score a run into a very frustrating end to the inning in a heartbeat. After Ryan Braun led off the inning with an infield single, Cardinals reliever Trevor Rosenthal was 3-0 on Ramirez.
Rosenthal fought back to make the count 3-2 with a pair of change-ups and struck out Ramirez with another tough change-up. Braun was running on the pitch and was gunned out by Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina.
“I thought we battled well today,” Roenicke said. “I liked the at-bats. Maldy hit a bullet to center for an out (in the seventh). I thought we did a nice job. Nori continues to get on base for us. There were some good things that happened there.
“The good change-up that Rosenthal threw that struck out Aramis on and they threw Braunie out stealing, it was a great change-up. It’s 3-2 and the guy throws 100 mph and he throws a nasty change-up, and then of course Yadi puts the ball right on the bag.”
Though Roenicke saw positives in the way his team played Friday night, the Brewers still lost yet another game to fall to 1-7 on this current 10-game road trip through the National League Central. Milwaukee has now lost 12 of its last 13 games against divisional foes and sits 10.5 games out of first place just a couple of weeks after playing the Cardinals for first place in the division.
“It is (frustrating to lose), but I like the way we played today,” Roenicke said. “We came back, which we haven’t been doing, we swung the bats well after we got through the first innings. But it’s tough to recover from the first one.
“We keep playing like this, we are going to start getting some breaks and we’ll be OK.”