Game Report: Brewers 2, Cardinals 1

By Rob Rains

The Cardinals got a glimpse of the future on Sunday, and it looked pretty good.

They also watched as their current situation in trying to earn a spot in the playoffs for a sixth consecutive year took another turn for the worse, however.

The best start of his young career for rookie Luke Weaver came with Carson Kelly making his first career start behind the plate, but he had a no-decision after allowing just one run on three hits over six innings against the Brewers at Busch Stadium.

That was because Ryan Braun hit a fastball from Kevin Siegrist for a home run with one out in the ninth inning, giving the Brewers the win.

The loss dropped the Cardinals a half game behind the Mets in the battle for the second wild-card spot. It also dropped them to 0-8 this year when they had a chance to move a season-high 10 games over .500 and was their 39th loss of the season at home, the most since moving into the current Busch Stadium in 2006. They still have 10 games to play at home in the regular season.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: The Cardinals were shut out and had only four hits off Zach Davies through the first seven innings. They were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position over those innings, and got their only run in the eighth when Matt Carpenter hit his second double of the game, went to third on a grounder by Kolten Wong and scored on a sacrifice fly by Stephen Piscotty. … It was the second consecutive game in which the Cardinals did not hit a homer, although they did come close, hitting two balls which were caught on the warning track in center field. It’s the first time since Aug. 7-8 that the Cardinals have gone two consecutive games without hitting a homer. They lead the NL with 204 on the season.

On the mound: Weaver allowed his only run in the first inning, on a pair of singles and a sacrifice fly. He surrendered only one hit after that inning and retired 13 of the final 14 batters he faced before leaving after the sixth. He walked one and struck out eight … After Jonathan Broxton and Zach Duke worked perfect innings in relief, Braun’s one-out homer off Siegrist won it for the Brewers. It was the ninth homer Siegrist has allowed in 54 2/3 innings.

Key stat: Brandon Moss was 0-for-4 and struck out three times. He now has just one hit, a single, in his last 41 at-bats. He has not hit a home run since Aug. 25, a span of 53 consecutive at-bats.

Of note: Weaver and Kelly were in the starting lineup for the first time together just one year and two days after they started the final playoff game for Class A Palm Beach. Kelly had caught Weaver twice earlier this year at Double A Springfield … Braun’s homer was his first against the Cardinals since April 14, 2013, off Trevor Rosenthal, a span of 205 at-bats … Before the game the Cardinals activated shortstop Aledmys Diaz from the disabled list … The 2017 option on closer Seung Hwan Oh’s contract officially vested when he finished his 30th game of the year on Friday night. He will make $2.75 million next year … Michael Wacha, on the disabled list since Aug. 9, is expected to throw live batting practice on Monday … The State College Spikes won game 1 of the New York-Penn League championship series on Sunday, 3-0 over Hudson Valley, and could become the third short-season Cardinals affiliate to win their league’s championship with a win Monday night.

Looking ahead: The Cubs come to Busch Stadium for a three-game series starting Monday night and could clinch the NL Central on Wednesday if they sweep the series. Ten of the Cardinals’ next 13 games are against the Cubs and the Giants. Mike Leake will get the start in the opener against Kyle Hendricks.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains