Cardinals add to reeling Brewers' misery
By Andrew Wagner
The Sports Xchange
MILWAUKEE -- If the Milwaukee Brewers are looking for a silver lining in the midst of a season-high seven-game losing streak, they can take solace in the fact that they are still in first place ... for now.
What was a 6 1/2-game lead in the National League Central just 10 days ago turned into a tie Saturday as the Brewers were shelled 10-2 by the St. Louis Cardinals at Miller Park.
Milwaukee had dropped 10 of its last 11 coming into the game but was also playing with heavy hearts as it was revealed before the game that the nine-month-old son of shortstop Jean Segura passed away the night before.
That, coupled with the losing streak, made facing Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright -- the NL leader in earned run average -- an even more daunting task.
"I think everybody certainly in that clubhouse was affected by what happened with Seggy," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "I don't want to make excuses for what we do out on the field. We know we still have a game to play, we know we still have a job to do. We didn't play well today."
Wainwright (12-4) held Milwaukee scoreless on one hit through the first four innings before back-to-back two-out doubles by shortstop Jeff Bianchi and pinch-hitter Lyle Overbay made it 8-1.
The Brewers managed five hits off Wainwright, who went seven innings and struck out four while holding the Brewers to two runs.
"I did an interview a week ago talking about was it time to start looking at why the season was such a disappointment," Wainwright said. "My quote was 'in a week from now, we could be doing a completely different kind of interview.'
"And that's what's happened. This game is a funny game of ups and downs. The teams that have the most ups and the least amount of downs end up winning the whole thing. Inevitably, you're going to have both. We've had some downs. Now we have a few ups we have to catch up with."
Milwaukee starter Jimmy Nelson (0-1), summoned earlier this week from Triple-A Nashville, where he was 10-2 with a 1.46 ERA, wilted in his home debut, allowing eight runs, six hits and two walks in 4 1/3 innings.
"It's very frustrating, but that's all on me," Nelson said. "I didn't get ahead of hitters, I fell behind a lot of guys; I didn't execute my pitches, left too many balls up, and when that happens, no matter what level you're at, you're going to get hit."
The Cardinals jumped on the youngster quickly, putting three runs on the board in the first inning, two in the fifth on second baseman Kolten Wong's sixth home run of the season and another in the third on catcher Tony Cruz's RBI double.
Cruz, starting in place of injured Yadier Molina, drove in three of the Cardinals' first six runs and went 2-for-4.
He was one of four players St. Louis players with multiple hits, a group paced by center fielder Jon Jay, who went 3-for-4.
"It's nice to be able to make up a little ground," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "It just comes back to playing the game the right way."
The Cardinals and Brewers wrap up the series -- and the first half of the season -- on Sunday afternoon at Miller Park.
Right-hander Wily Peralta goes for Milwaukee and St. Louis sends right-hander Carlos Martinez to the mound.
CREW CUTS: Brewers SS Jean Segura was placed on the bereavement list and returned to his native Dominican Republic on Saturday morning after learning of the death of his infant son. Manager Ron Roenicke said he wasn't sure how long Segura, 24, would be away. INF Elian Herrera was recalled from Triple-A Nashville. ... The Cardinals added C George Kottaras to the 25-man roster Saturday and optioned C Audry Perez to Triple-A Memphis. Kottaras was claimed on waivers Friday after C Yadier Molina was lost for eight to 12 weeks because of a torn ligament in his right thumb. ... Brewers RHP Jimmy Nelson had only two major-league starts before Saturday. ... The Cardinals lead the all-time series with the Brewers 148-112 and are 33-15 in their last 42 games against Milwaukee. ... Brewers C Jonathan Lucroy, 3B Aramis Ramirez, CF Carlos Gomez and RHP Francisco Rodriguez were presented with their All-Star jerseys before the game.