Lucroy homers in 10th, Brewers defeat Cardinals
Milwaukee ends futility mark after 32 scoreless innings
Ron Roenicke didn't seem all that upset that Milwaukee's offense set a club record for consecutive scoreless innings Sunday.
"Seems like we've been setting a lot of records the last couple of years," the Brewers' manager said.
It's easy to take an ignominious feat in stride after the kind of win Milwaukee pulled off.
Roaring to life after failing to score in 32 straight innings, the Brewers got to St. Louis' shaky bullpen for runs in each of the last three innings Sunday as they avoided a winless, scoreless weekend with a 4-3, 10-inning win.
Jonathan Lucroy's first-pitch solo homer with one out in the 10th off Fernando Salas (0-2) snapped the tie as Milwaukee (3-8) ended a three-game skid while stopping the Cardinals' four-game-winning streak.
Brandon Kintzler (1-0) worked 1 1/3 innings for the win, while Burke Badenhop earned his first save, inducing a game-ending groundout from pinch-hitter Carlos Beltran with runners at first and second.
"We needed this to give ourselves a little bit of a good feeling," Lucroy said. "It's been a tough series with these guys. They're a really good team, so it's special to come out with a win on the last day after a hard-fought battle."
It looked like the Brewers were going to come up empty again when they headed for the top of the eighth inning, trailing 3-0 after Jaime Garcia shut them out on seven hits over seven innings.
But Jean Segura led off with a single and Ryan Braun ended a drought which started in Tuesday night's 6-3 loss to Chicago with a two-run homer that sliced just inside the right field foul pole.
For the first time all weekend, Milwaukee's dugout had life.
"It was nice to get a couple of runs," Roenicke said. "It had been a while. So whatever he does to get us runs, I don't care what it is. We needed to get close."
Braun's second homer of the year also ended St. Louis' 39 1/3-inning scoreless streak, dating back to the fourth inning of a 5-1 win Tuesday night against Cincinnati. It included three shutouts, including back-to-back blankings of the Brewers on Friday night and Saturday.
But Milwaukee still had work to do in the ninth and got to closer Mitchell Boggs quickly, tying the game when Yuniesky Betancourt lined a double to right-center that scored Carlos Gomez from first base.
Lucroy then put the Brewers ahead when he jacked a fastball 407 feet into the bleachers in left-center field.
"I haven't had a lot of success against Salas," Lucroy said. "So the first good pitch I got, I was going after it. The deeper you go into the count against him, he gets nastier."
After using new closer Jim Henderson in the eighth to keep the game at one run, Roenicke tag-teamed his way through the bullpen in the 10th. Kintzler walked the leadoff man, David Freese, and got Jon Jay on a sacrifice bunt before leaving.
Roenicke called on Mike Gonzalez, who retired Matt Carpenter on a fly ball to left and then walked Matt Holliday intentionally to face Shane Robinson. Roenicke opted for Badenhop as Beltran was introduced.
With the crowd of 42,645 roaring, Badenhop got Beltran to rap a 1-1 fastball at short and Segura made the play cleanly to end it.
"I felt like Jim was our best choice to keep it close going into the ninth," Roenicke said. "If we try to save him, then we might not get to use him. So I had to mix-and-match in the 10th."
Marco Estrada (1-1) pitched decently for Milwaukee, surrendering seven hits and three runs over six innings. But he was touched for four straight two-out hits in the third that put the Cardinals (7-5) ahead.
Matt Carpenter lofted a ground-rule double down the left field line and scored on Matt Holliday's single to left for a 1-0 lead. After Allen Craig singled, Yadier Molina rifled a double to left-center that plated Carpenter. Craig was called out at the plate, although replays showed his hand touched the plate before Lucroy's tag.
Matt Adams made it 3-0 in the fourth with a line-drive homer to center field, his third homer in 16 at-bats. But the St. Louis offense came up dry after that and it proved costly.
"I think I can speak for everyone in the clubhouse when I say this was a disappointing loss," Garcia said.
NOTES: Milwaukee third baseman Alex Gonzalez (left hand contusion) wasn't able to play for a second straight day after being hit by a Shelby Miller fastball on Friday night. Gonzalez is hoping to return Tuesday night when the Brewers host San Francisco. ... Molina received his 2012 Gold Glove award in a pregame ceremony. It's the second straight honor for Molina. ... Adam Wainwright's shutout Saturday was the first by a Cardinal pitcher to include a strikeout in every inning since Bob Gibson did it at San Diego on June 17, 1970.
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