The Milwaukee Brewers overcame a few key injuries to set a franchise record for most wins in the opening month of a season.
With at least Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez expected to be out again, the Brewers look to end April in strong fashion Wednesday by completing their first road series sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals in almost five years.
Milwaukee (20-7) owns the best record in baseball despite injuries to Braun (strained intercostal muscle), Ramirez (elbow contusion) and Jean Segura (bruised cheek).
The Brewers also gave All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy a scheduled day off Tuesday, but their makeshift lineup still pulled out a 5-4, 11-inning win over St. Louis. Lyle Overbay’s single scored Kris Davis a day after Davis’ RBI triple led to a 5-3 win in 12.
"We’re playing great and we’ll enjoy it as long as we can, but it’s not going to last the whole season," manager Ron Roenicke said. "But again, we’re doing things right."
Doing so again could lead to Milwaukee’s first series sweep in St. Louis since ending 2009 with three straight wins at Busch Stadium.
The Brewers, though, are expected to be without Braun and Ramirez. Segura could be back after he was injured when Braun’s bat inadvertently hit him in the dugout Saturday.
Giving the ball to Matt Garza (1-2, 4.09 ERA), however, may not help. He’s 0-1 with an 8.31 ERA while allowing the Cardinals to hit .357 over three starts in St. Louis.
The right-hander lost 4-0 to them at home April 14. He was touched for a season-high two homers and three of the four runs he surrendered came in the sixth inning. He departed after the seventh.
Garza is coming off one of his best outings of 2014, yielding two runs and four hits with seven strikeouts in seven innings of Friday’s 5-2 home win over the Chicago Cubs.
The Cardinals are hitting .176 with runners in scoring position, and they’re averaging 2.4 runs during a 3-7 stretch. They’re 2 for 15 in that scenario in this series.
"It’s April," first baseman Matt Adams said. "We’re not happy that we’re not winning right now but we’re going to continue to show up every day ready to compete.
"Things are going to turn around in our favor."
Yadier Molina has four hits in this series, including a three-run homer Tuesday. The catcher is 7 for 17 in four season meetings with Milwaukee.
Shelby Miller (2-2, 2.86) is scheduled to get the ball, and all six of his career starts against the Brewers have ended in St. Louis victories. He’s gone 4-0 with a 1.95 ERA after yielding one run and three hits with seven strikeouts in six innings of a 6-1 win at Milwaukee on April 15.
The final two innings of that outing are part of 13 consecutive scoreless over three starts, during which he’s 2-0 with a 0.53 ERA. The right-hander also has 18 strikeouts in 17 innings in that stretch, but he’s issued a whopping 12 walks.
Miller walked four Friday while allowing three hits before exiting with two outs in the sixth inning of a 1-0 win over Pittsburgh.
"I haven’t been pitching as good as I want to, but still been getting by," Miller told the team’s official website. "I have found ways to get past (the walks) and make big pitches when it matters against tough teams that are doing well. That builds my confidence."