Gallardo hung a curveball on a two-strike count to big Matt Adams in the top of the first and the rookie launched it into the seats in right-field for a two-run homer, his 16th of the season and second in as many nights, and that was enough to propel the Cardinals to a 7-2 win over the Brewers at Miller Park Saturday night.
Gallardo (11-10) worked seven innings and allowed just those two runs on four hits with a pair of walks and seven strikeouts. The Crew got one run back in the bottom of the first on an RBI groundout by Khris Davis with the bases loaded.
And that was it for a long time. The Cardinals held that 2-1 lead until the eighth inning, when they rocked reliever Rob Wooten for five runs and put the game out of reach.
Wooten struck out Matt Carpenter to start the inning, but three straight hits to right field loaded the bases and Yadier Molina worked a nine-pitch walk to force in a run. After Jon Jay struck out, David Freese singled to left to score two more runs, chasing Wooten in favor of Alfredo Figaro, who surrendered an opposite-field double to Daniel Descalso that scored two more. Davis, in left field, lost his glove laying out for Descalso’s hit, but just missed.
Davis drove home Jonathan Lucroy in the bottom of the eighth, with both hitters belting ground-rule doubles.
Milwaukee continued to struggle against the National League Central-leading Cardinals this season, falling to 4-14 overall and just 1-8 at Miller Park. With the win, St. Louis reduced its magic number for clinching a playoff berth to just one. They lead the Pittsburgh Pirates by two games and the Cincinnati Reds by three in the divisional race.
Wooten’s tough two-thirds of an inning spring-boarded his ERA from 2.63 to 4.38 after he was charged with all five runs in the frame.
Norichika Aoki went 2-for-5 for the Crew, improving to 6-for-9 in the series, while Scooter Gennett and Jonathan Lucroy showed signs of snapping out of slumps during this season’s final homestand.
Gennett was 2-for-5 with a double and a stolen base. He had been just 4-for-26 since the Brewers returned home, while Lucroy was 2-for-3 with a walk.
The catcher had been 3-for-20 with one RBI on the homestand, dropping his average to .278. He has set career highs in just about every category this season, including games, plate appearances, runs, hits, doubles, triple, home runs, RBI and stolen bases.
Lance Lynn (14-10) got the win for St. Louis, working the first 6.1 innings and allowing a run on four hits with seven strikeouts. Three relievers combined to get the final eight outs.
The Brewers close out their home schedule Sunday night with the finale of the series against the Cardinals. Wily Peralta (10-15) is scheduled to start for Milwaukee, with Joe Kelly (9-4) slated to pitch for St. Louis. Game time has been moved to 7:05 p.m. to accommodate ESPN, which will broadcast the game nationally.
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