Milwaukee scored two seventh-inning runs Monday and held on to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-4 in the Redbirds’ home opener at Busch Stadium.
The Brewers led 2-0 early, then scored a solo run in the sixth and two more in the seventh to wreck the Redbirds’ home opener before the biggest crowd in Busch Stadium III’s history, 47,875.
“There was a lot of energy out there,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “The fans did their part, we just couldn’t get it done.”
After falling behind 5-2, the Cardinals made it close on Jhonny Peralta’s two-run double in their half of the seventh.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
But the Redbirds went 1-2-3 in the ninth, dropping to 3-3 on the season.
The Brewers had scored twice in the top of the inning against St. Louis ace Adam Wainwright (1-1). Lifted for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the inning, Wainwright gave up five runs (three earned) on eight hits in seven innings. He walked one and struck out four.
Peralta’s hit in the seventh came after Matt Holliday reached on an error and Matt Adams singled, allowing the Cardinals to get back within a run.
In the top of the seventh, Scooter Gennett singled and went to second on a sacrifice by pinch-hitter Jordan Schafer, who batted for pitcher Matt Garza. Carlos Gomez then doubled into the left-field corner, scoring Gennett to make it 4-2.
Jonathan Lucroy grounded a ball up the middle that was fielded by second baseman Kolten Wong, but Wong threw wildly past first to allow Gomez to score to make it 5-2.
Ryan Braun singled, Adam Lind doubled and Aramis Ramirez bounced into an RBI groundout in the sixth as the Brewers went ahead 3-2.
More here: 'Baseball is back': Ceremonies mark opener
Wong scored on a throwing error in the fourth as the Cardinals pulled into a 2-2 tie after trailing 2-0 early in the game.
Yadier Molina and Wong opened the inning with walks against Garza. Wainwright then laid down a bunt that was fielded by third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who threw to shortstop Jean Segura to force Molina at third.
Segura, however, air-mailed the throw to first to try to complete a double play, and Wong scored from second to tie the game.
Matt Carpenter doubled and Adams drove him home with an RBI groundout in the third as the Cardinals cut the Brewers’ lead to 2-1.
The Cardinals had an inauspicious start before a sellout crowd, with an error by Wong leading to an unearned run for the Brewers in the first inning.
The Brewers used the error, a walk from Wainwright, a fly ball and a groundout to take the 1-0 lead.
Milwaukee tacked on another run in the second.
Khris Davis singled off the glove of second baseman Wong. Davis took on Segura’s double off the glove of right fielder Jason Heyward. Gennett followed with an RBI grounder to shortstop Jhonny Peralta, who was playing deep, to make it 2-0.
Carpenter’s double to left center led to the Cardinals’ first run at home this year, in the third. He went to third on a one-out single to right by Matt Holliday, and came home when Adams bounced into a 4-3 out at first base.
Peralta reached on a walk, putting two runners on base, but Jon Jay ended the inning by taking a called third strike from Garza.
Wainwright was making his fourth home opener start in a Cardinals uniform, and is 1-1 with a 5.51 ERA in those starts.
He has won six consecutive starts, dating back to an Aug. 27 loss in Pittsburgh, and began the game with a 27 inning scoreless streak dating back to a Sept. 12 start against Colorado. The run in the first, while unearned, ends that streak.