W: Dennys Reyes (1-0)
L: Trevor Hoffman (0-1, BS)
SV: Ryan Franklin (2)
HR: Matt Holliday (2), Nick Stavinoha (1)
One strike away. That's how close the Brewers were to closing out their third straight win and taking the series opener from the St. Louis Cardinals.
Then the improbable happened. Nick Stavinoha -- a guy with 32 career hits and has "pinch hitter" as one of his listed positions on baseball-reference -- hit a 2-run homer off Trevor Hoffman in the 9th inning to give the Cardinals a 5-4 lead. After stealing a win against Colorado on Wednesday, I suppose this was just baseball karma coming back to bite the Brewers, but it didn't make the result any easier to swallow.
By and large, the Brewers played well enough to win. Dave Bush didn't have a bad start, throwing 5.2 innings while allowing 4 hits, 3 runs, and striking out 6. Alcides Escobar was a factor at the bottom of the lineup again, going 2-for-4 with 2 RBI, including an RBI double that gave the Brewers the lead.
The Brewers were able to keep Albert Pujols from hurting them, but Matt Holliday took advantage of the opportunities he had hitting behind Pujols. Holliday went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer of his own that chased Bush from the game. Kyle Lohse gave up 4 runs on 6 hits in 6 innings, but the Cardinals' bullpen only allowed one hit in the final three innings.
Newly minted millionaire Yovani Gallardo will take the hill for the Brewers on Saturday against Jaime Garcia.