First baseman Albert Pujols and
left fielder Matt Holliday showed why they are considered arguably the best 3-4
combination in any lineup Sunday night when they hit back-to-back, two-out
homers off of Milwaukee closer Trevor Hoffman in the ninth
inning to lift the Cardinals into a tie after they had fallen behind by five
But the game ended unhappily for
the Cardinals as they lost for the second time on their six-game trip as
suddenly struggling right-hander Kyle McClellan surrendered a long, game-ending
homer to Milwaukee third baseman Casey McGehee.
Right-hander Jason Motte similarly
had been beaten by a Jonny Gomes walk-off homer in Cincinnati a few days
Home runs were the bugaboo of the
night for the Cardinals. Staff ace Chris Carpenter, who hadn't been happy with
his control late in spring training and had allowed two homers on over-the-plate
pitches in the season-opener at Cincinnati, was touched for three more home
runs in just five innings Sunday night.
The significance is that Carpenter
already has given up nearly as many home runs (five) as he allowed all last
McClellan, who excelled as a
starter for much of spring training and then closed the spring with a
four-strikeout, two-inning relief appearance after he had been moved back to the
bullpen, now has given up three runs (two earned) in 1 2/3 innings, covering
three outings. He has been scored on in every game he has
BREWERS 8, CARDINALS 7: The good
news for the Cardinals is that they won their first two series, both on the
road. The bad news is they lost the third game in each series, both on
ninth-inning home runs. After Albert Pujols hit a two-run homer in the ninth off
Trevor Hoffman to cut a once-large Brewers lead to one run, Matt Holliday tied
the game with a shot over the center-field fence. But then, after left-hander
Dennys Reyes had fanned Milwaukee's Prince Fielder in the bottom of the ninth,
right-hander Kyle McClellan left a fastball over the middle of the plate to
Milwaukee's Casey McGehee, who left no doubt on his game-ending
--CF Colby Rasmus, who had eight
walks and two homers in the first five games, did not start against Milwaukee
LHP Randy Wolf. "I'm seeing the ball good, but the swing doesn't feel right,"
said Rasmus, who popped up as a pinch hitter.
--OF Nick Stavinoha made his
big-league catching debut -- a brief one -- in the bottom of the ninth. Yadier Molina was lifted from the game early when the Cardinals fell behind and manager
Tony La Russa then pinch-hit for backup C Jason LaRue in the ninth. Stavinoha
caught LHP Dennys Reyes' strike three to Brewers 1B Prince Fielder but not RHP
Kyle McClellan's home-run toss to 3B Casey McGehee.
--INF Felipe Lopez started at his
third different position -- third base, then shortstop and then second -- on
Sunday and had two doubles. He had had just one hit previously in 11
--OF Ryan Ludwick's swing looks
off. Ludwick is just 3-for-21 and appears to be lunging.
--1B Albert Pujols had been
0-for-6 against Milwaukee closer Trevor Hoffman before hitting his two-run homer
in the ninth inning. Pujols already has had two multi-homer games this
BY THE NUMBERS: 12-0 -- RHP Chris
Carpenter's record against National League Central Division teams over the last
two seasons. He was taken off the hook Sunday night when he allowed seven runs
in five innings only to have his team rally to tie the game in the
QUOTE TO NOTE: "That's always my
goal -- to outlast the other starter." -- RHP Adam Wainwright, after working
seven innings, one longer than Cincinnati RHP Johnny Cueto, in his first start
of the season.