Game Report: Brewers 3, Cardinals 2

Another bad first inning from Carlos Martinez sent the Cardinals to a loss Tuesday night in Milwaukee, once again keeping them from getting back to the .500 mark.

The Brewers scored all of their runs in the opening inning, extending a streak which has seen Martinez allow at least one run in the first inning in each of his last six starts.

Since they were 26-26 on June 2, the Cardinals are 0-5 in games in which they could have reached .500 with a victory.

Milwaukee starter Jimmy Nelson earned the victory, his first in 11 career starts and 12 appearances against the Cardinals. He came into the game with a career record of 0-8 and a 7.01 ERA against the Cardinals.

The loss dropped the Cardinals to 5 ½ games behind the first-place Cubs in the NL Central.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: The Cardinals scored once in the fourth and fifth innings. In the fourth, Tommy Pham led off with a single and later scored on a single by Yadier Molina and in the fifth, Kolten Wong also got a leadoff single and later scored on a single by Pham … The Cardinals lost a chance to score in the third when Wong was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a double by Randal Grichuk … The Cardinals had only two baserunners in the final four innings, Matt Carpenter on a leadoff walk in the eighth and Stephen Piscotty with a one-out single in the ninth. Piscotty was 1-of-4 in his first game since coming off the disabled list.

On the mound: After giving up the three runs in the first, Martinez allowed only one hit, an infield single, over the next four innings but did issue four walks. He had to pitch out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth and left after throwing 102 pitches, only 55 for strikes … John Brebbia, Tyler Lyons and Matt Bowman combined to allow only one hit over the final three innings, an infield single off Bowman in the ninth.

Key stat: Martinez has now allowed 16 runs in the first inning of his 22 starts this season, an ERA of 6.54. He has not allowed more than 10 runs in any other inning, in the sixth, when he has pitched a total of 16 1/3 innings. He has allowed a combined total of 16 runs from the second to the fourth inning in his 22 starts, covering 66 innings.

Worth noting: The scoreless sixth inning from Brebbia extended his current streak to 14 appearances covering 15 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run. He has allowed one unearned run over that stretch … Molina was charged with a passed ball in the sixth on a strikeout by Brebbia, his sixth of the season. He had a career-high eight passed balls last season … Adam Wainwright is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday and if that goes well hopes to come off the DL and start one of the games this weekend in Cincinnati.

Looking ahead: Luke Weaver will make his second start of the season for the Cardinals on Wednesday night.