The St. Louis Cardinals just can't seem to finish the job.
For the second time this season, they had a 2-0 series lead and seemed to be rolling when the wheels came off and they fumbled away a possible sweep.
The 5-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers was the difference between a first place tie between the Redbirds and Milwaukee or settling for second place. But the most frustrating part of the loss was how sloppy the Cardinals played.
Of the Brewers' five runs, four of them were unearned. Other came from a Milwaukee rally that resulted in a run being walked in after the bases were loaded by an infield single, a batter hit by a pitch and a walk.
The Cardinals got off to a good start. Joe Kelly allowed only one unearned run in four innings of work with three hits and no walks allowed. He struck out two and appeared to be cruising when he apparently strained his left hamstring while trying to beat out a bunt attempt.
Despite lowering his season ERA to 0.59, Kelly absorbed the loss to fall to 1-1 for the season.
Seth Maness relieved and gave up three unearned runs in an inning of work. But he wasn't without fault. Maness gave up three hits and a walk in his frame on the mound.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Yadier Molina collected two more hits Wednesday to raise his season batting average to .352.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Allen Craig hit a solo homer to account for the only St. Louis run. It was his first since last August but, hopefully, is another sign that the slugging outfielder and first baseman is emerging from his early season slump. A 1-for-3 day lifted Craig's average to .152 to go along with his five runs batted in.
Lowlight: Matt Adams and Jhonny Peralta accounted for the two Cardinals errors. The miscues brought St. Louis to 13 errors in 15 games so far this season, the fifth-highest total in the majors. Peralta was unable to make up for the runs his error created when he stranded five runners on base. The Redbirds, as a team, were 1-for-7 on the day.