The Milwaukee Brewers had to wait out the rain in St. Louis on Friday night just to get the first game of the three game series started. Once the contest started the Brewers found themselves in a quick hole. But the Brewers battled back and eventually posted a 5-4 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in 13 innings. The game lasted four and a half hours and wasn't completed until just after two in the morning. Ryan Braun made the wait worth it for the Brewers as he played hero on this night when he provided the winning run with his league leading and personal best 38th home run of the season in the top of the 13th inning off the Cardinals Lance Lynn.
The game didn't get started until 9:35 local time due to the heavy rains in the St. Louis area and Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo showed some rustiness in the Cardinals first inning. Gallardo has had his problems with the Cardinals in his career as evidenced by his 1-9 career mark to go along with a horrible 7.05 earned run average. Gallardo found immediate trouble as he allowed a leadoff single and a run scoring double to the first two Cardinal hitters. A second Cardinal run came around to score on a sacrifice fly to center and the Brewers found themselves down 2-0 after one inning.
The Cardinals Kyle Lohse cruised through the first three innings as he allowed only a Corey Hart double in the second inning. The Brewers touched the scoreboard in the fourth however. Rickie Weeks and Braun led the inning off with back to back singles to put runners at the corners. Weeks would come in to score on a run scoring groundout by Taylor Green and the deficit was cut to 2-1 after four innings as Gallardo found his groove after the rough first inning.
The score would remain 2-1 Cardinals until the top of the seventh when the Brewers would tally a run to tie the score. Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado walks with one down and advanced on a bloop single to right by Jeff Bianchi and that is all on the night for Lohse who is replaced by reliever Edward Mujica. The Brewers send pinch hitter Travis Ishikawa to the plate and the move pays off when Ishikawa doubles to right to score Maldonado and tie the score at two. The rally would fizzle however when Norichika Aoki hits a sharp grounder to second and with the infield in the Cardinals cut down Bianchi at the plate for the second out and Weeks strikes out for the third out.
The Brewers would grab the lead in the top of the eighth with a couple runs. Hart would single and steal second and come around to score when Carlos Gomez beat out an infield hit and the throw from shortstop gets away from the Cardinals first baseman Allen Craig. Gomez would end up stealing second base and come around to score on a run scoring single by Maldonado to make the score 4-2 Brewers. The Cardinals would strike for two runs of their own in the bottom half of the eighth however off the Brewers Jim Henderson. Henderson committed the cardinal sin of walking the leadoff hitter which costed him when the Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina connected for a two run homerun with two outs to tie the score at four heading to the ninth.
The score would remain tied from the 9th through 12th innings with the Brewers escaping a major jam in the 11th inning. The Cardinals had runners at second and third with one down against the Brewers reliever Kameron Loe. The Brewers actually brought Braun in from left to play a fifth infield spot but Loe did it himself with a strikeout for the second out and after a walk loaded the bases Loe escaped by inducing a groundout to first to end the inning.
Braun who smacked the winning homerun in the 13th collected his 100th run batted in on the hit which represented the fifth consecutive season of 100 or more runs batted in for Braun. Closer John Axford shut the Cardinals down in the bottom half of the inning for his 26th save of the season. The Brewers with the win climbed within six games of the second wild card spot in the National League held currently by the Cardinals. Game two of the series is tonight with rookie Mike Fiers on the hill for the Brewers to be opposed by the Cardinals Jake Westbrook.
Tags: Carlos Gomez, Corey Hart, Jim Henderson, John Axford, Martin Maldonado, Mike Fiers, Milwaukee, Milwaukee Brewers, MLB, Norichika Aoki, Rickie Weeks, Ryan Braun, St. Louis Cardinals, Travis Ishikawa, Yovani Gallardo