Cardinals 4, Brewers 3

The Milwaukee Brewers hoped Yovani Gallardo would settle down

and stop the St. Louis Cardinals.

Instead, he went wild.

Albert Pujols hit an RBI double during a four-run first inning

against Gallardo and the Brewers never quite recovered, dropping to

the Cardinals 4-3 Wednesday night and falling into a 2-1 deficit in

the NL championship series.

”When you make mistakes like we did the first inning, they’re

going to get their hits, they’re going to score some runs,”

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said.

Gallardo, who’s 1-7 with a career 5.66 ERA against the

Cardinals, trailed 2-0 after his first 12 pitches and barely made

it out of the opening inning.

The 17-game winner walked three, one of them intentional, and

the Brewers had Chris Narveson up in the bullpen before Yadier

Molina grounded into a run-scoring double play for Gallardo’s first

outs.

Gallardo trudged to the dugout after his 33-pitch ordeal that

included RBI doubles by Jon Jay and David Freese.

”I think I made a good pitch to Jay,” Gallardo said. ”I tried

to go up and in with a fastball and I was able to do that and he

just hit it out to the outfield. And to Pujols, it might have been

a little bit up and over the plate but I thought it was a good

pitch.”

In all, Gallardo lasted five innings and gave up eight hits,

walked five (two intentional) and tied an NLCS record with three

wild pitches. He struck out two.

The Cardinals’ 4-0 lead seemed as if it would be plenty with ace

Chris Carpenter pitching. It was, barely, thanks in large part to a

12-up-and-12-down performance by the St. Louis bullpen.

Four relievers – Fernando Salas, Lance Lynn, Marc Rzepczynski

and Jason Motte – were perfect over the final four innings.

Milwaukee chipped away at Carpenter with two runs in the second

on singles by Rickie Weeks, Jerry Hairston Jr. and Yuniesky

Betancourt, and a sacrifice fly by Gallardo. Mark Kotsay’s homer

leading off the third made it a one-run game.

Carpenter, coming off a shutout against Philadelphia in the

deciding game of the divisional series, wasn’t nearly as sharp this

time.

”We got to 4-3 and I felt good,” Roenicke said. ”I felt we

were going to score some more runs.”

Carpenter labored through five innings, giving up six hits and

walking three (one intentional) and striking out three.

”It was a battle all night long,” Carpenter said. ”My stuff

was OK, but these guys worked me hard.”

The Brewers had runners on base in every inning against him.

Weeks struck out with two on to end the fifth. But Milwaukee

couldn’t touch the St. Louis bullpen.

”It’s not going to work very often that you can put four zeros

against their offense,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said.

Jason Motte, who had two saves lasting more than inning in

September, and another in Game 2 of the division series at

Philadelphia, got four outs for this save. He fanned pinch-hitter

Casey McGehee to end it.

Carpenter won his seventh postseason game to tie Bob Gibson’s

franchise record, but with none of the brilliance of his three-hit

win over Roy Halladay and the favored Phillies in Game 5 of the

first round. Nearly half of his 89 pitches were balls.

The starters’ ineffectiveness was surprising considering their

track records.

Carpenter has been clutch throughout his career in the

postseason, going 7-2 with a 3.14 ERA in 12 games. Gallardo allowed

only two runs in 21 innings, a minuscule 0.86 ERA, before Game

3.

Kyle Lohse, pitching on 12 days’ rest, starts Game 4 Thursday

for the wild-card Cardinals against Randy Wolf.

The Cardinals batted around against Gallardo in the first.

Pujols delivered an RBI double after starring in a Game 2 win with

a home run and three doubles.

St. Louis had its chances to break away later, but hit into

three double plays and stranded nine runners.

Luckily for the Brewers, Carpenter didn’t have his ”A” game,

either. He walked none in that gem against the Phillies, but

already had a walk and a hit batsman in the Brewers’ first three

plate appearances.

Carpenter escaped with help from Kotsay, who strayed too far off

second on Prince Fielder’s lineout to center and was doubled off

the bag by Jay’s strong throw to end the inning.

Kotsay got a spot start in place of Nyjer Morgan, partly because

he’s 4 for 11 against Carpenter. Morgan flied out to start the

seventh as a pinch hitter and was roundly booed throughout the

at-bat.

Ryan Braun and Fielder each entered the game hitting .500 in the

NLCS with a combined seven RBIs. They were a combined 1 for 6 with

no runs or RBIs Wednesday.

”We competed,” Braun said. ”We had plenty of chances. It’s a

tough game and just get ready for tomorrow.”

NOTES: The Brewers have lost eight straight postseason road

games since beating St. Louis 10-1 in Game 1 of the 1982 World

Series. … Hall of Famer Stan Musial made a pregame appearance at

home plate via golf cart, and was flanked by fellow Cardinals Hall

of Famers Bob Gibson, Lou Brock and Red Schoendienst. … Pujols

has 16 postseason walks, moving past Jim Edmonds for the franchise

record. … Betancourt singled his first two trips and had been on

a 10-for-18 run before a flyout in the sixth.