The Cardinals were on the verge of another ninth inning come from behind win Tuesday when they fell back into their wilting ways.
David Freese led off the last frame with a double and catcher Yadier Molina singled. Third base coach Jose Oquendo held Freese because it would have been a close play at the plate -- and, besides, the Birds didn't have any outs and even a double play ball should have tied the game.
But Freese held his ground when Matt Carpenter grounded out up the middle. Then Pinch hitter Lance Berkman struck out on a terrible pitch in the dirt. He argued he held up his swing, getting thrown out of the game in the process. And Daniel Descalso ended the game with a pop-up about 10 feet in front of the plate.
The game should have never come down to the ninth inning. Rookie pitcher Joe Kelly threw six strong innings with two earned runs allowed. But the defense let him down by giving away several outs. The first Milwaukee run scored when Freese couldn't get a ball out of his glove in time to start a double play. Later second baseman Tyler Greene made a fabulous diving play up the middle and flipped the ball to shortstop Rafeal Furcal for the first out. But Furcal's relay through was off line and the Milwaukee rally remained alive.
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Kelly didn't help himself defensively either. He threw away a pickoff attempt that led to the Brewers' third run which was unearned.
At the bat, the Cardinals killed two of their own rallies with double play balls and they stranded seven runners in scoring position.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Freese collected three hits in four at bats and seems to be coming alive at the plate.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Jon Jay, forced to come into the game when Matt Holliday was injured, had to face lefty Randy Wolf with two runners on base and came through with a hard hit ball just inside the third base bag to tie the game at two early.
Lowlight: Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday left the game in the second inning after being hit by a pitch in his first plate appearance. Reports indicate that he had a bruise just above his knee. No word yet on if he is expected to miss additional time.
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