Power surge continues, but Brewers fall to Cardinals
MILWAUKEE -- Adam Wainwright has been trying to pitch his way out of some early struggles, and he did that and a lot more Friday night.
Wainwright homered and drove in four runs while getting his first win of the season, leading the St. Louis Cardinals over the Milwaukee Brewers 6-3.
Wainwright ripped a fastball into the second deck in left field for a two-run homer off Wily Peralta (3-1) to put the Cardinals up 2-1 in the third.
"I crushed it," Wainwright said, laughing. "We needed that."
In the fourth, the Brewers intentionally walked Kolten Wong to load the bases for Wainwright, and he hit a two-run single to extend the lead to 5-1.
"Certainly, it gets my dander up a little bit," he said of the free pass.
Brewers manager Craig Counsell said Wainwright's hitting turned out to be the difference.
"He's certainly, for a pitcher, capable of swinging the bat," Counsell said. "But he's also a pitcher, so we have to be able to make pitches on those guys."
Wainwright (1-3) had struggled on the mound this season but showed better command against the Brewers. He gave up two runs and six hits in five innings, recording a season-high nine strikeouts without walking a batter. He departed after throwing 100 pitches.
"My stuff is good, but those deep counts are costing me innings," Wainwright said.
St. Louis' Dexter Fowler left in the fifth inning with right heel bursitis. He was replaced by Stephen Piscotty.
"My heel has been sore for a long time," Fowler said. "It usually loosens up but it didn't loosen up."
Peralta gave up nine hits and six runs in four innings, failing to strike out a batter for the first time in 20 starts dating to May 2016. Peralta is 0-8 in his last 10 starts against the Cardinals.
"When I got ahead of hitters, I was making bad pitches," Peralta said.
Ryan Braun homered leading off the eighth for the Brewers.
Seung Hwan Oh picked up his third save in four tries.
With runners on first and third in the fourth for St. Louis, Fowler lofted a fly ball to left. Braun made the catch and unleashed a strong throw on the fly to the plate to apparently cut down the speedy Wong. However, a review showed that after colliding with catcher Manny Pina, Wong stretched and touched the plate with his fingertips while avoiding the tag, leading to the call being overturned.
"Kolten did an amazing athletic move to get to the plate," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.
Jedd Gyorko batted in the cleanup spot after getting two doubles and a home run in the sixth spot in the order the previous night. He's also batted ninth this season and appeared in the leadoff spot last season. "He just wants to be in there," Matheny said.
The Brewers recalled left-handed reliever Brent Suter from Triple-A Colorado Springs prior to the game. Outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis was designated for assignment. "We were at a point where we needed relievers," Counsell said. "For me, (Nieuwenhuis) was a great member of this team as far as how he went about his business and how he treated everybody."
Cardinals: Reliever Kevin Siegrist has given up 10 walks and two home runs in 6 1/3 innings this season, leading to concerns about his arm. "It does seem complicated to where he doesn't seem like he's got that power that he normally has," Matheny said. ... Matt Carpenter was struck in the right forearm by a pitch in the seventh but remained in the game.
Brewers: RHP Matt Garza (right groin strain) has returned from his rehab assignment and will make his first start of the season on Monday against Cincinnati. Tommy Milone, who has made three starts, will move to the bullpen.
Cardinals: Lance Lynn (1-1, 3.12 ERA) pitched seven scoreless innings on Monday against Pittsburgh to notch his first win of the season. Lynn is 8-3 with a 2.36 ERA in 14 career starts against Milwaukee.
Brewers: Chase Anderson (2-0, 1.50) will make his fourth start of the season. He's 7-1 with a 2.32 ERA over his last 15 starts. In five career starts against St. Louis, Anderson is 0-2 with a 2.42 ERA.