Manager Mike Matheny had a fresh bullpen Wednesday night, and he needed it.
Six relievers combined to throw four innings and Matheny’s St. Louis Cardinals evened their series against Milwaukee at one game apiece with a 4-2 win before 40,826 at Busch Stadium.
Lance Lynn (1-1) registered career victory No. 50, holding the Brewers to one run (earned) on six hits in five innings. Lynn walked one and struck out six, using 99 pitches.
“(Lynn) kept them down, but he worked hard to do it,” Matheny said. “He found himself in trouble quite a bit and was able to work out of it. I think that’s something Lance does well. I wouldn’t say that’s one of his best days, but he still was very good. He had to work hard. He had (almost) 100 pitches after five. But he still looked pretty good.”
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Lynn’s high pitch count precipitated Matheny’s reliance on the bullpen, which rested and recovered during the Cardinals’ off day Tuesday.
Kevin Siegrist, Seth Maness, Matt Belisle, Randy Choate, Jordan Walden and Trevor Rosenthal allowed one run on four hits and struck out two. The only reliever who didn’t pitch for the Cardinals was Carlos Villanueva.
“(Lynn) wasn’t right today, which did put a little bit more (pressure) on our pen, but they responded well,” Matheny said. “It’s not how we’ve drawn it up, to use these guys this much. We can’t. It’s too much of a workload. Ideally, that’s not what it looks like.”
Rosenthal collected his third save despite being the lone reliever to allow a run. Ryan Braun’s RBI single scored pinch-runner Kyle Lohse to get the Brewers within 4-2 in the ninth and bring the tying run to the plate. Adam Lind, however, flied out to Jon Jay in center to end the game.
The Cardinals (4-3) went to work in the first against Wily Peralta (0-1) on Matt Carpenter’s single, Jason Heyward’s double past third and Matt Holliday’s two-run single.
Milwaukee made it 2-1 in the third on Jonathan Lucroy’s walk and singles by Braun and Aramis Ramirez, but the Cardinals tacked on a pair of runs in the fourth as Yadier Molina had an RBI single and Carpenter had an RBI double. Molina had three of St. Louis’ 10 hits.
The Brewers won an appeal in the third when umpires ruled that right fielder Braun had failed to catch Holliday’s line drive. After a brief review, the call was overturned and Holliday was out.
Lebanon native Neal Cotts worked a scoreless sixth for Milwaukee, retiring the Cardinals in order and striking out Carpenter. Cotts and former Cardinal Michael Blazek retired the final 10 hitters.