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Lynn slams the door on Brewers

2014-04-14T21:59:00Z 2014-04-16T07:12:05Z Lynn slams the door on BrewersBy Rick Hummel rhummel@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8196 stltoday.com

MILWAUKEE • However he does it, Lance Lynn wins.

Whether it's his Cardinals teammates scoring seven runs a game in his first two starts to overcome his own 6.55 earned run average. Or whether it's by his own dominance, which was on display here Monday night as he overpowered the Milwaukee Brewers for seven innings, striking out 11 and allowing just three hits and no runs in a 4-0 victory that snapped the Brewers' winning streak at nine.

Lynn's triumph was his third, tying him with Los Angeles' Zack Greinke for the National League lead but giving Lynn the most wins by a National League pitcher in the last three seasons at 36.

The four Cardinals' runs off Milwaukee starter Matt Garza in his seven innings came from some familiar tormentors of his.

Shortstop Johnny Peralta, 13 for 28 (.464) in his career against Garza, clouted a first-pitch homer over the center-field wall to open the second.

Jon Jay, seven for 12 (.583) against Garza, drilled a three-run homer in the sixth as the Cardinals scored their third victory in succession and beat the Brewers for the ninth time in 11 meetings at Miller Park the last two seasons.

The Cardinals were out at every base but second in a wild sixth inning. But Jay rescued the frame inning one strike from disaster when he laced his homer off a 1-2 pitch.

Matt Holliday opened the inning with a single over the head of shortstop Jean Segura. Matt Adams, collecting his third hit off Garza, lined a ball to left center where left fielder Logan Schafer missed on a diving attempt. Holliday had been running haltingly toward second until he was sure the ball would get by Schafer and then he accelerated.

Third-base coach Jose Oquendo boldly waved home Holliday, but the Cardinals' left fielder was cut down at the plate for the first out as catcher Jonathon Lucroy held onto the ball after tagging the sliding Holliday. Center fielder Carlos Gomez and Segura had provided the relays.

Allen Craig hit a right-side grounder, which routinely seemed as it would send Adams to third but Milwaukee first baseman LyleOverbay unconventionally winged a throw to third where Adams was tagged out.

But Peralta extended the inning with a single to right and Jay  belted his first homer of the season.

Jay has only four hits this year but three have been for extra bases, good for seven runs batted in.

Peralta's third homer of the season had given the Cardinals a 1-0 lead on cozy night inside but a frightful one outside at 31 degrees with some snow showers. But one of the Cardinals' premier players wasn't around to see the end of it.

Home-plate umpire Bob Davidson, known for his quick trigger, ejected the Cardinals' Matt Carpenter after the latter was called out on strikes for the second out of the fifth inning.

Carpenter disagreed with the call and was walking toward the dugout when Davidson, cocking an ear in that direction,  heard something from Carpenter that he didn't like and ran the Cardinals' leadoff man. Both sides had been having trouble with Davidson's strike zone. It was Carpenter's first career ejection.

The Brewers put two men on base in an inning for the first time in the fifth when Scooter Gennett walked and Schafer doubled to right. Gennett was stopped at third as right fielder Craig quickly returned the ball to the infield.

Lynn then fanned the weak-hitting Garza to end the inning. In the sixth, Lynn allowed a double to Segura with one out but struck out Ryan Braun for the second time and then, after walking Aramis Ramirez, retired Lucroy on a fly to short right.

In the seventh, Lynn, who occasionally has become distracted by such matters, had to pitch around a two-out error by shortstop Peralta. This he did by making pinch hitter Mark Reynolds his 11th strikeout on his 114th pitch.

Righthander Carlos Martinez breezed through the Brewers in order in the eighth and ninth, fanning one. 


Here are the updates posted by Rick Hummel during tonight's game:

Jay's three-run HR rescues bad inning 

The Cardinals were out at every base but second in a wild sixth inning tonight. But Jon Jay rescued an inning one strike from disaster when he laced a three-run homer off Matt Garza with two out to hike a scant 1-0 edge to a more comfortable 4-0 cushion over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Matt Holliday opened the inning with a single over the head of shortstop Jean Segura. Matt Adams, collecting his third hit off Garza, lined a ball to left center where left fielder Logan Schafer missed on a diving attempt. Holliday had been running haltingly toward second until he was sure the ball would get by Schafer and then he accelerated.

Third-base coach Jose Oquendo boldly waved home Holliday, but the Cardinals' left fielder was cut down at the plate for the first out as catcher Jonathon Lucroy held onto the ball after tagging the sliding Holliday. Center fielder Carlos Gomez and Segura had provided the relays.

Allen Craig hit a right-side grounder, which routinely seemed as it would send Adams to third but Milwaukee first baseman Lyle Overbay unconventionally winged a throw to third where Adams was tagged out for the second out.

But Jhonny Peralta, 13 for 28 (.464) in his career against Garza, extended the inning with a single to right and Jay, seven for 12 (.583) against the Milwaukee righthander, belted his first homer of the season on a 1-2 pitch.

Jay has only four hits this year but three have been for extra bases, good for seven runs batted in. 

Carpenter ejected after strikeout

Home-plate umpire Bob Davidson, known for his quick trigger, ejected the Cardinals' Matt Carpenter after the latter was called out on strikes for the second out of the fifth inning tonight.

Carpenter disagreed with the strike three call and was walking toward the dugout when Davidson, turning an ear toward him, heard something from Carpenter that he didn't like and ran the Cardinals' leadoff man. It was his first career ejection.

Both sides had been having trouble with Davidson's strike zone although starters Matt Garza of Milwaukee and the Cardinals' Lance Lynn were razor sharp enough anyway as the Cardinals nursed a 1-0 lead into the home fifth. 

The Brewers put two men on base in an inning for the first time in the fifth when Scooter Gennett walked and Logan Schafer doubled to right. Gennett was stopped at third as right fielder Allen Craig quickly returned the ball to the infield.

Lynn then fanned the weak-hitting Garza to end the inning. It was his seventh strikeout. 

Peralta continues to torment Garza 

Jhonny Peralta already had established his hold on Milwaukee Brewers righthander Matt Garza. In 25 at-bats against Garza, Peralta had had 11 hits for a .440 average against his longtime American League rival. 

But tonight Peralta went one better. The Cardinals' shortstop, emerging from his fortnight funk, smacked his first career homer off Garza, a first-pitch drive over the center-field wall to lead off the second inning.

Peralta's third homer of the season gave the Cardinals a 1-0 lead on a cozy night inside but a somewhat frightful one outside at 31 degrees with intermittent snow showers. 

Cardinals starter Lance Lynn, who had given up three runs in the first inning in both of his two previous starts, allowed just one hit through the first four innings tonight.

He struck out five but the Cardinals weren't doing much with Garza either and it was 1-0 entering the fifth. 

Molina gets first game off  

Yadier Molina will get his first game off this season when Tony Cruz replaces him to catch Lance Lynn tonight as the Cardinals start a three-game series with the red-hot Milwaukee Brewers, who have won nine straight.

Molina, who started each of the previous 12 games, is just two for 12 lifetime against Milwaukee righthander Matt Garza.

Outfielder Jon Jay, meanwhile, is six for nine against Garza and that has netted Jay a start in center field.

Manager Mike Matheny is aware he is resting a catcher who has had three straight multi-hit games and four of the last five. Matheny said, "We've been looking to find him one (day off) and we had planned this a little while ago.

"I think everybody in baseball would like to have him in their lineup but we're going to keep our eyes open for opportunities where we can get him a day."

The decision was a mutual one, said Matheny.

"We put a lot of trust in how he feels," Matheny said. "When we start to see him getting beaten down a little or he's had a couple of tough games, we have a conversation and I tell him, 'This is what I'm thinking.' I usually get his feedback and try to make a good decision. I give him a lot of say. This guy is different than a lot of other players.

"He knows his body. He also knows the amount of work he's had in the past and he's trying to be smart, as well as we are. It would be unwise for us not to listen." 

The roof is on at Miller Park and that's a good thing. It's still snowing outside.

Cardinals lineup

Carpenter 3b

Wong 2b

Holliday lf

Adams 1b

Craig rf

Peralta ss

Jay cf

Cruz c

Lynn p

Milwaukee lineup

Gomez cf

Segura ss

Braun rf

Ramirez 3b

Lucroy c

Overbay 1b

Gennett 2b

Schafer lf

Garza p

Rick is a baseball writer/columnist at the Post-Dispatch 

Copyright 2015 stltoday.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Baseball writers Derrick Goold and Rick Hummel cover the Cardinals for the Post-Dispatch and STLtoday.com. They'll provide daily Cardinals updates here, from the start of spring training through the end of the season and beyond.

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