Game Report: Brewers 3, Cardinals 2

By Rob Rains

For the third consecutive game, the Cardinals had a chance to rally in the ninth inning and send the game to extra innings on Wednesday at Busch Stadium.

They did score a run in the ninth for the third game in a row, on a home run by Tommy Pham, but left the potential tying run on second base as they lost to the Brewers.

Singles by Marcell Ozuna and Jose Martinez put runners on second and first with one out following Pham’s leadoff homer, but Kolten Wong fouled out and pinch-hitter Dexter Fowler struck out to end the game.

“We had our shot right at the end,” said manager Mike Matheny, “just came up a little short.”

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: The Cardinals had just four hits through the first eight innings, scoring in the sixth when Greg Garcia, hitting leadoff, doubled, took third on a fly out and scored on a groundout by Matt Carpenter … The Cardinals were 0-of-6 with runners in scoring position and were a combined 4-of-28 in the three-game series … Ozuna’s single in the ninth extended his hitting streak to 10 games.

On the mound: Adam Wainwright bounced back from a rough first start to pitch seven innings, scattering eight hits. He did not walk a batter but gave up two solo homers, one to Hernan Perez in the second and one to Eric Thames in the fourth. Harrison Bader almost robbed Thames but the ball hit off his glove and fell over the right field wall … The Brewers added their third run in the fifth on an RBI double by Jett Bandy … Tyler Lyons pitched a perfect eighth and Greg Holland worked around a leadoff walk in the ninth by getting an inning-ending double play.

Key stat: Francisco Pena became the 19th player to catch Wainwright at least once in his career. In 285 of Wainwright’s 346 games, either as a starter or reliever, the catcher has been Yadier Molina. Gary Bennett has the second highest number of games catching Wainwright, 29, while Tony Cruz caught him 19 times.

Worth noting: As expected, Yadier Molina dropped his appeal of his one-game suspension for Sunday’s altercation with Arizona manager Torey Lovullo and served it on Wednesday, a day when he was not scheduled to play anyway… With Fowler and Paul DeJong also getting the day off, Ozuna and Carpenter are now the only Cardinals to start each of the season’s first 12 games … DeJong also pinch-hit on Wednesday and was called out on strikes … Ten of the 12 home runs allowed by the Cardinals this season, including both on Wednesday, have come with nobody on base.

Looking ahead: The Cardinals begin a four-game series on Thursday night in Cincinnati. Michael Wacha gets the start in the game that begins at 5:40 p.m. St. Louis time.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains