You could say the Brewers Tuesday 7-6 loss to the Cardinals was intentional.
First Milwaukee walked Colby Rasmus with two outs to let Braden Looper pitch to righty Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina... only to see Yadi drive in the tying run. Later the Brew Crew intentionally walked Albert Pujols with a runner at second base to bring Matt Holliday to the plate. Holliday put the first pitch he saw over the left field wall and gave the Cardinals, who trailed 3-0 after half an inning, a lead they would never surrender.
Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday hits a three-run homer Tuesday to lead St. Louis to a 7-6 win over Milwaukee. AP photo.
The walk to Albert was his 40th intentional pass of the year. Only three of those have come since the arrival of Holliday in the cleanup spot. And two of those three times, Holliday has demonstrated to opposing managers that it is a bad, bad idea to walk hitters in front of him.
Joel Pineiro was shaky in the first. But he only allowed one more run through seven innings. And, while he had been lifted for a pinch hitter, he was still the pitcher of record when Holliday hit his blast. So Pineiro got a much deserved win that will help to make up for the three or four he should have had earlier in the season when the offense couldn't score any runs.
The Cubs beat the Astros in Chicago. But the Cardinals come from behind win cut the magic number to 21 and maintained the lead at 10 1/2 games with a month of season to go.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Holliday
Lowlight: All's well that ends well. But I'm sure Ryan Franklin wasn't thrilled to give up two runs in an inning and turn a formidable St. Louis lead into a one-run advantage with the heart of the Milwaukee order coming to the plate. But he got out of it and, hopefully, the new contract nerves will be behind Franklin the next time he comes into a close game. That might not be soon, however, since he threw more than 30 pitches to hammer down the save Tuesday night.