Braun 350th career HR, later plunked; Brews, Cards split DH
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Brent Suter and three relievers combined on a two-hitter, Ryan Braun hit his 350th career homer and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-0 Wednesday night to split a doubleheader.
The Cardinals took the opener 4-2 behind Adam Wainwright’s four-hitter.
St. Louis manager Mike Shildt ran the team in the opener. He missed the nightcap while serving a one-game suspension, imposed by Major League Baseball after tempers flared during the Brewers’ 18-3 romp Tuesday night.
Umpires warned both teams after Braun was hit by a pitch in the fifth inning. He was the third Milwaukee batter plunked in the game by Cards starter Johan Oviedo. Braun was at the center of the trouble the previous night when he hit Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina in the wrist during a swing.
Oviedo opened the game by hitting Avisail Garcia and then hit Keston Hiura in the third.
“I really don’t think I was hit intentionally,” Braun said. “Obviously we had a couple of other guys who were hit before me with fastballs up and in. It was a young pitcher with a good arm, that when he tried to throw the ball inside, missed up and in numerous times."
“Obviously with what transpired yesterday, I think the umpires did a really good job of staying on top of it. Again, I don’t think it was done intentionally,” he said.
The Brewers scored four runs in the first inning on just one hit, the three-run homer by Braun.
“I think when you’re at a place that he’s at in his career, these are the games that you’re dying to be in, these games you want to be in,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. It’s a credit to his skill set that he’s able to deliver in the biggest games still, that he’s a force and he’s a presence in these games.”
Suter allowed two hits over three scoreless innings, walking two and striking out three. Freddy Peralta (3-1) followed with two perfect innings, striking out three. Devin Williams struck out two in a perfect sixth, and Eric Yardley retired the side in the seventh.
Jacob Nottingham’s third homer, a two-run shot in the sixth, put the Brewers up 6-0.
Oviedo (0-3), activated off the injured list earlier in the day after passing a rapid test for COVID-19, allowed six runs in 5 1/3 innings. He hit three batters with pitches.
“I think he had good stuff,” Shildt said. “I think the term would be effectively wild. He wasn’t able to harness his command and some balls got away from him, unfortunately.”
In the opener, Wainwright (5-1) shook off an early home run, striking out nine in the seven-inning complete game.
Christian Yelich hit a one-out single in the Milwaukee first and Huira followed with his 13th home run. Wainwright quickly settled down and allowed just two singles and a walk the rest of the way.
Tyler O’Neill hit a solo homer in the second and Brad Miller’s seventh homer, a solo drive in the sixth, put the Cardinals up 4-2.
Brandon Woodruff (2-4), who also went the distance, allowed three earned and seven hits. He struck out five and walked none.
St. Louis snapped a 2-2 tie with an unearned run in the fifth. Harrison Bader reached on a two-base throwing error by third baseman Jace Peterson and Tommy Edman sliced an opposite-field double to left.
O’Neill answered with his sixth homer to make it 2-1. O’Neill’s homer was the first of the series for the Cardinals, the first time since 2005 that St. Louis had gone without a home run over three games at Miller Park.
Shildt also received an undisclosed fine after he was involved in a benches-clearing incident in the fifth inning of Tuesday’s game. Shildt and Counsell were both ejected following a catcher’s interference call against Molina. “I understand it and I accept it,” Shildt said after the first game. “I guess the mask, (taking) the mask off got me. I understand and support Major League Baseball’s decision. I had a good conversation with the commissioner’s office today.”
WILLIAMS DEBUTS WITH HIT
Justin Williams, recalled earlier in the day from the alternate training stie as the 29th player for the doubleheader, made his Cardinals debut in the opener and singled in his first at-bat. Williams had one previous at-bat in his big league debut with Tampa Bay in 2018. “The first hit was great. The win felt even better, though. Winning the ballgame felt way better.”
Cardinals: LHP Rob Kaminsky was designated for assignment. Max Schrock and RHP Junior Fernandez were recalled from the alternate training site. OF Lane Thomas and RHP Nabil Crismatt were optioned to the alternate training site.
Brewers: RHP Josh Lindblom was placed on the bereavement list and RHP Justin Topa was recalled from the alternate training site. LHP Eric Lauer was recalled from the alternate training site as the 29th player for the doubleheader. INF Ronny Rodríguez and RHP Trey Supak were outrighted to Triple-A San Antonio.
Cards: Molina, who caught an additional two innings before leaving Tuesday’s game after being hit in the hand Braun’s bat, was back in the lineup after a CT scan earlier Wednesday, but was batting ninth. He did not play in the second game... 2B Kolten Wong, who missed Tuesday’s game after experiencing discomfort in his left side while warming up, said he had an MRI that showed no structural damage, but was not in the lineup for the first game. “The only time I feel pain is when I swing,” Wong said. “Running and defense might be something I can still do. I’m going to try and take some swings and see how it goes, but for the most part I know I can come in as a defensive replacement.”
Cards: RHP Dakota Hudson (3-2, 2.92 ERA) opens the five-game series Thursday at Pittsburgh, which includes two games on Friday, the Cardinals’ third doubleheader of the week. Hudson has won his last three starts. He allowed one run on one hit in six innings in his last outing, although he walked four.
Brewers: After a day off, RHP Adrian Houser (1-5, 5.40 ERA) opens the three-game series Friday at home against Kansas City. Houser, 1-0 with a 0.75 ERA in his first two starts, is 0-5 with a 7.01 ERA over his last seven starts.