Brewers pull out of nine-game skid
By Andrew Wagner The Sports Xchange MILWAUKEE -- It's only one game, but the Milwaukee Brewers would like to remind the National League of that old Mark Twain cliche about premature rumors. The Brewers snapped a nine-game losing streak -- their l...
By Andrew Wagner
The Sports Xchange
MILWAUKEE - It's only one game, but the Milwaukee Brewers would like to remind the National League of that old Mark Twain cliche about premature rumors.
The Brewers snapped a nine-game losing streak - their longest since 2010 - and got a game back in the National League Central race with a 6-2 victory over the St. louis Cardinals on Friday night at Miller Park.
"This was important," said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, whose team moved within three games of the Cardinals in the division. "Tomorrow is just as important, but it's nice to play another good ballgame and to get the win. We played a good game yesterday and didn't get the win, so it was nice today."
Fight-hander Mike Fiers set the tone for Milwaukee, solidifying his status as the stopper by holding the Cardinals to two runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings while striking out five.
In six starts since joining the rotation on Aug. 9, Fiers has struck out 46 in 41 2/3 innings.
"Another great outing for him," Roenicke said. "One we needed badly and I thought he threw the ball great. He hung a curveball to (shortstop Jhonny) Peralta for a home run, but good job. And he did lay down two really nice bunts."
Those two bunts were a big boost for the Brewers, setting up second baseman Scooter Gennett for two run-scoring hits.
"It's tough sometimes," Roenicke said. "He had first and second with both corners in on him and he laid down two real nice bunts."
The Brewers hadn't led an opponent for a span of 67 innings until Gennett made it 2-0 with a base hit up the middle in the third inning that scored first baseman Lyle Overbay and shortstop Jean Segura.
Gennett struck again in the fifth inning with another two-out hit - this time an RBI double to the wall in center field. He then scored on catcher Jonathan Lucroy's RBI single to give the Brewers a 4-0 lead.
"We really haven't had that early lead in a while," Gennett said. "Especially against a team like this, you want to get ahead early. It was just nice to keep adding to it. I think that's the most important thing - once you get ahead you've got to put them away, and we did a good job of that tonight."
Milwaukee added two runs in the sixth inning on a two-run homer by left fielder Khris Davis, his team-leading 22nd home run of the season.
"I didn't see the pitch again, but it looked like it caught a lot of the plate," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "If that doesn't happen, we are in a 4-2 game and it would be a typical John Lackey start. The home run really kind of put it out of reach for him."
All six Milwaukee runs came off Lackey, who went six innings and gave up nine hits and walk while striking out six.
"Kind of a weird one tonight," said Lackey, now 2-2 since joining the Cardinals in a deadline deal. "Felt like I threw a lot better than the line score. I felt like I had good stuff. They got a couple big hits and then kind of had a little bad luck to start a couple of those innings. It happens."
Catcher Yadier Molina, right fielder Jon Jay and center fielder Peter Bourjos had two hits apiece for the Cardinals, who went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded seven.
"We had a couple chances, had some guys on base but didn't make the most of it," Matheny said. "(Fiers) pitched well."
The Cardinals had won six in a row and moved four games ahead of Milwaukee before falling Friday. They play two more games against the Brewers this weekend at Miller Park and then three against the Brewers in St. Louis later this month.
CREW CUTS: Brewers RF Ryan Braun returned to the starting lineup Friday after missing two games to be with his wife, Larisa, who gave birth to the couple's first child late Wednesday night. ... Slumping Cardinals 1B Matt Adams missed his second straight game because of a sore left oblique. INF Daniel Descalso started at first in place of Adams on Friday. ... Milwaukee CF Carlos Gomez had his sprained left wrist examined by team physician Dr. William Raasch and cleared to resume all baseball activities. Gomez will take batting practice Saturday and could return to the team early next week. He has been out since Aug. 31 but appeared in his second straight game, playing the ninth inning in center.