The St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday continued to iron wrinkles out of their game, the result: A commanding win over the visiting Milwaukee Brewers.
Starting pitcher Lance Lynn wasn't as dominant in his second start as he was in his season debut. But that doesn't mean he wasn't pretty darn good. He scattered six hits and allowed only one run in an appearance limited to five innings because of a high pitch count.
While the Redbirds would have liked to see Lynn go longer, his problems weren't caused by a lack of effort. While his control was a little less sharp than in his previous appearance against the Chicago Cubs, he aggressively attacked hitters. But the Brewers batters fouled off a lot of pitches and worked deep into counts to force his early exit.
Truthfully, that probably wasn't the worst thing for the Cardinals, however. They played only seven games in the first 11 days of the season. So their bullpenners could use the work.
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Offensively, the Birds took an early lead by riding their more aggressive base running to a pair of first inning runs.
Matt Carpenter singled up the middle to start the rally, then Jason Heyward hit a ball to left that likely should have been a single. Both Heyward and Carpenter seemed intent on taking a extra base as soon as the ball came off the bat. Carpenter made it safely to third and drew the throw from the outfield, allowing Heyward to make it to second.
Left fielder Matt Holliday, displaying some excellent situational hitting, stroking a line drive to right center to plate both runners.
The Cardinals scored a pair of insurance runs late and it looked like the game was well in hand. But Trevor Rosenthal, perhaps rusty from a lack of work, had a difficult time finding the strike zone and walked the leadoff man who would eventually score on a hit that brought the tying run to the plate.
Fortunately, Rosenthal steadied and the Cardinals were able to get back over the .500 mark with a win.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Yadier Molina, who has been off to a terribly slow start, collected three hits in four at-bats to raise his average to .240.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Heyward's first inning "double" that keyed the Redbirds' opening rally.
Lowlight: Matt Adams and Kolten Wong continue to struggle at the plate, combining to go 1-for-8 in the game. Wong was hitless to drop to .227 for the early season. Much was made during the broadcast, of how upset he was by a pair of errors that contributed to the loss of St. Louis' home opener. I hope he can shake it off. Adams collected one hit. But he's been stranding runners in bunches and is batting only .167.