Cardinals 7, Brewers 6
David Freese waited a long time for this curtain call. He was
impressed with the patience of St. Louis’ fans.
Freese hit a grand slam for his first homer of the season, and
the Cardinals used a five-run first inning to beat the Milwaukee
Brewers 7-6 on Friday night.
”That’s the biggest thing about this, you want to join the
fun,” Freese said. ”Fortunately enough, I haven’t done squat this
year and we’ve got a heck of a record.”
The Brewers made it close on a pair of three-run homers by
Aramis Ramirez off Jaime Garcia before losing for the 13th time in
15 games. The bottom four spots in the lineup were a combined 0 for
”Nice to see Rammy get a couple,” Milwaukee manager Ron
Roenicke said. ”I think he’s been swinging the ball really well
and hasn’t had much to show for it.”
The Cardinals had five hits and a walk while batting around
against Wily Peralta (3-4) in the first, but the right-hander was
still in the game when Garcia (5-2) was chased with one out in the
sixth. Milwaukee got one hit in 3 2-3 innings against three
relievers, with Edward Mujica working the ninth for his 12th save
in 12 chances.
”The bullpen did a great job, they picked me up basically,”
Garcia said. ”I didn’t do my job.”
Ryan Braun reached on a leadoff single in the eighth, but was
caught stealing for a double play after Trevor Rosenthal struck out
Ramirez. Carlos Gomez then popped up a bunt to end the inning.
Freese entered with a .209 average, four RBIs and a .287 on-base
percentage, struggling to find his stroke after starting the season
on the 15-day disabled list with a back injury from chasing a foul
ball in spring training. He batted .293 last year with 20 homers
and 79 RBIs, the first time he played more than 100 games in the
Freese didn’t think failing to produce in his hometown made it
any tougher, mentioning numerous helpful suggestions. He thought
the best advice came from those who told him to just be himself and
forget about his numbers.
”You hear the crowd when it went out, that shows how much they
care about their team,” Freese said. ”It’s cool to come out here
every day. That curtain call was definitely probably more special
than the home run.”
Peralta said Freese hit a changeup that was supposed to be down
and away but hung over the middle. The Brewers thought Peralta had
some bad luck earlier in the inning.
”We hit three ground balls in the first inning, they’re outs,”
Roenicke said. ”They hit ground balls, they’re hits, so you get a
”I don’t want to say that’s why he made the bad pitch to
Freese, he just got one up and Freese did a nice job of
Matt Holliday had two hits and two RBIs for St. Louis, which has
won 13 of 16 and leads the National League at 27-14. Allen Craig
had three hits and a walk and leadoff man Matt Carpenter had three
hits and scored twice.
Ramirez lined a pitch into left-field stands in the fourth for
just his second hit in four starts, and cleared the wall in center
in the sixth for his third homer of the season. It was his 26th
career multihomer game and left him with 32 homers against the
Cardinals, tied with Adam Dunn for second-most among active
The first inning has been by far the Brewers’ best this season.
They had outscored opponents 35-9, the most runs in the majors and
Peralta appeared to have a good shot at escaping the inning down
just a run when he struck out Jon Jay for the second out. Jay
entered with a .440 career average against Milwaukee, and Freese
had been in a season-long slump with just one extra-base hit and
one RBI this month.
Freese then hammered a 1-1 pitch to straightaway center with a
stroke reminiscent of the 2011 postseason when he was World Series
and NL championship series MVP. Freese made a curtain call
responding to a sellout crowd, but struck out his last two trips
Jay got an RBI single in his second trip to make it 6-0 in the
Garcia retired nine in a row on 28 pitches before Norichika Aoki
slapped a single to open the fourth. Braun walked with one out and
Ramirez cut the deficit in half, lining a 3-1 pitch into the
Garcia was charged with six runs and six hits in 5 1-3
NOTES: Roenicke called his first team meeting of the year
Thursday after getting outscored 10-2 in consecutive losses at
Pittsburgh. … Roenicke plans to rest Ramirez every third game or
so for now while the veteran, who returned in early May from a left
knee sprain that knocked him out a month, regains strength and
form. ”I don’t think I can’t say that in a week from now, I can
leave him out there and not worry about. I know I’m not there,”
Roenicke said before the game.