Cardinals snap Brewers’ nine-game win streak with shutout
Lance Lynn brought the Brewers’ fast start to a halt.
Mixing a fastball that topped 95 mph with his effective slider, the St. Louis Cardinals right-hander struck out 11 and allowed three hits over seven innings in a 4-0 victory Monday night to snap Milwaukee’s nine-game winning streak.
Lynn (3-0) frustrated the Brewers all night. He left Carlos Gomez twisting in the batter’s box on swings and misses. He made Jonathan Lucroy, a .357 hitter, whiff badly on a fastball low in the zone in the second and froze Scooter Gennett on a heater outside.
"Location. He was making good pitches early on and it looked like he had a little more life," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.
Jhonny Peralta hit a solo shot in the second off Brewers starter Matt Garza, and Jon Jay had a three-run homer to the right field corner in the sixth. Reliever Carlos Martinez tossed two scoreless innings to finish off the surprising Brewers, who still have the majors’ best record at 10-3.
Manager Ron Roenicke said he didn’t think Garza (0-2) had his best stuff, yet Garza kept pace with Lynn until running into trouble in the sixth. Allen Craig reached on a fielder’s choice with two outs and Peralta singled to set up Jay’s homer off a hanging breaking ball.
Until then, the Brewers seemed as though they were close to getting out of the jam after throwing out a runner at home and retiring a runner trying to advance to third for the second out.
"I felt we had momentum after we had the tag at home . . . and then (Jay’s homer) was a backbreaker," Garza said. "But we’re fine. We’ll come back and we’ll start a new (streak) tomorrow."
Lynn cooled off a Brewers team that was off to its best start since opening the 1987 season with 13 straight wins.
Milwaukee’s best hope to score came in the fifth after No. 8 hitter Logan Schafer doubled to right with two outs to put runners at second and third. But that brought Garza, a career .094 hitter, to the plate and he struck out on three pitches.
Otherwise, the Brewers didn’t get another runner past second. Lynn boasted a career 2.53 ERA in 10 games against the Brewers coming in, and his mastery of Milwaukee continued.
"He throws the nice breaking ball and he usually keeps the ball down well," Roenicke said. "Every time I’ve seen the guy, he’s tough."
With Lynn in control, about the only other drama provided by the Cardinals was when leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter was ejected in the fifth after apparently saying something to umpire Bob Davidson following a called third strike.
"Matt didn’t like what he saw; the umpire didn’t like Matt’s opinion of what he saw. He said something to Matt, Matt returned something — there was no foul language — but the umpire had heard enough," Matheny said. "We were barking the majority of the game.
"Hopefully, there’s no follow-up on that. Checking out the pitch, it wasn’t a pitch he should be swinging at. That’s frustrating. You can’t take emotions out of this game."
Garza allowed nine hits and four runs while striking out six in seven innings. Rookie reliever Wei-Chung Wang, a Rule 5 pick, pitched a scoreless ninth in his big league debut.
NOTES: Cardinals C Yadier Molina got a day off after catching the first 12 games of the season. . . . Injured 2B Mark Ellis played his first game on a rehab assignment Sunday at Triple-A Memphis. Ellis, who is on the 15-day DL for left knee tendinitis, played five innings and went 1 for 3 with a run. He was scheduled to play Monday, though Memphis’ game may have been affected by weather. "He didn’t have any issues and felt good afterward, which was the main thing," Matheny said. "He’s on the right track to joining us here soon." . . . Wang, 21, of Taiwan, also saw snow for the first time and got his first major league paycheck Monday. Flurries fell before the game outside Miller Park, which has a retractable roof.