The Cardinals finally got a good game from embattled starter Lance Lynn.
Unfortunately, the Birds couldn't find their bats until the second half of the game for the second night in a row. So, Lynn departed with a no-decision after six innings pitched with one unearned run allowed on five hits. He walked two and mowed down 10 Milwaukee Brewers hitters by the strikeout.
But at least Lynn got something to build on with the positive outing -- and the team got an important win to hang on to a one-game lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates who finished off a sweep of the Texas Rangers earlier in the day.
The Redbirds looked like they were going to have one of those nights when Milwaukee scored a run in the second inning when shortstop Daniel Descalso was unable to handle what looked like a pretty good throw from catcher Tony Cruz on a double stolen base attempt. The ball went into centerfield and the lead runner was able to score on what should have been the last out of the top of the inning.
Then in the bottom of the frame the Cardinals had a runner on first and Matt Adams at the plate when the slugging first baseman hammered a ball off the outfield wall about a foot on the fair side of the foul line. Apparently the only four people in the ballpark who didn't see that the ball was fair were the umpires. They sent Adams back to the plate and an inning that would have been second and third with no one out became first and second with no outs after Adams walked. But the rally was killed when David Freese hit into a double play that shouldn't have happened.
The Cardinals wouldn't get another hit -- their first official safety -- until Matt Carpenter singled in the bottom of the sixth. After that the pumps were primed.
The Birds scored the tying run in the seventh when Descalso laced a ball inside the third base bag to score Matt Holliday. Then they took the lead in the bottom of the eighth when Carpenter and Holliday singled on either side of a Jon Jay Walk. Carlos Beltran hit a sacrifice fly to make the score 2-1. Then Jay scored on a throwing error during an attempted steal to make the Margin 3-1.
Finally Adams unloaded a clothesline homer to centerfield to bust the game open and provide the final 5-1 margin.
While it's perplexing as to why the Redbirds have had so much trouble against Milwaukee starters, they should get credit for not losing their composure and eventually finding a way to come through. It takes all sorts of wins to have a successful baseball season. Sometimes you get a bunch of runs. And sometimes you've got to scratch and claw for every little bit.
The Cardinals improved to 25 games over .500 with the win and have one more game against the Brewers before welcoming the Seattle Mariners to town for interleague play. The Pirates will play the Cubs while the Reds will take on the Brewers in their next series.