Wily Peralta flirted with a no-hitter for quite awhile Tuesday night against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. But when the Milwaukee Brewers’ rookie right-hander lost his bid, the game went right along with it.
Matt Holliday broke up Peralta’s gem with a two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth and the Cardinals went on to beat the Brewers 4-2 behind 6.2 shutout innings from starter Shelby Miller.
Miller, also a rookie, improved to 13-9 and beat Milwaukee for the third time without a loss. In four starts against the Crew, Miller has held them to three runs and 18 hits in 25 innings.
Milwaukee had its chances, stranding eight runners, but was just 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position. The Brewers left the bases loaded in the second and didn’t get on the board until Logan Schafer’s pinch-hit homer with one out in the top of the ninth. Scooter Gennett scored in front of Schafer after leading off the inning with a double.
Peralta (9-15) deserved a better fate. He left with two outs and runners at first and second in the seventh inning in favor of left-hander Michael Gonzalez, brought in to face lefty-swinging Matt Carpenter.
But Carpenter lined Gonzalez’s first pitch into center field to bring home Matt Adams from second base and give the Cards a 3-0 lead.
Gonzalez—ostensibly a left-handed specialist—hasn’t fared so well in that role this season as lefties are now hitting .260 (25-for-96) against him in 2013. Gonzalez has also allowed 15 of 35 inherited baserunners to score this year, a rate of 43 percent.
Peralta wound up allowing three runs on just two hits with four walks and seven strikeouts and his 15 losses ties him with Edwin Jackson of the Chicago Cubs for the most in the National League.
St. Louis added an insurance marker in the bottom of the eighth off reliever Donovan Hand. Carlos Beltran singled, Yadier Molina walked and Adams slapped a single to right to score pinch-runner Adron Chambers.
The Cardinals improved to 11-3 against the Brewers this season and maintained their one-game lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates—who won at Texas—in the National League Central. The Cards did lengthen their lead over third-place Cincinnati to three games after the Reds were pounded at home by the Chicago Cubs, 9-1.
Gennett was 2-for-4 and is now hitting .394 (37-for-94) since he was recalled to take Rickie Weeks’ place on the roster on Aug. 9. Aramis Ramirez also had a pair of hits, while Norichika Aoki endured the first three-strikeout game of his major-league career. Aoki came into the game as the toughest player in baseball to strike out, averaging 17.2 plate appearances per strikeout. Tuesday night’s performance dropped that rate to 16.0.
The series at Busch Stadium continues Wednesday night with another 7:15 p.m. Central Time first pitch scheduled. Marco Estrada (6-4) is slated to start for the Crew, with Lance Lynn (13-10) on the schedule for St. Louis.
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