Cardinals extend scoreless streak to 36 innings in 3-0 win
MILWAUKEE (AP) Jaime Garcia kept the St. Louis Cardinals' scoreless streak going.
Matt Carpenter hit a leadoff home run, Garcia pitched two-hit ball for seven innings and the St. Louis Cardinals made it three straight shutout victories with a 3-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday night.
The Cardinals have thrown 36 consecutive scoreless innings since the fourth inning of Wednesday's 13-inning 4-3 win. Michael Wacha won his team-leading 13th game, stopping Cincinnati 3-0 on Thursday. Lance Lynn beat Milwaukee 6-0 Friday night in the opener of the three-game series.
On Saturday, Garcia (4-4) walked four, struck out five and allowed Jean Segura's hit in the first and Elian Herrera's in the third. The left-hander won for the first time in three starts since coming off the 15-day disabled list on July 28 with a strained left groin.
''Four walks isn't something you're normally happy about,'' Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.
''There were some deep counts he had to work out of. It's trying to tame the movement. His greatest asset can be his greatest adversary at times, because it's moving so much.''
The movement on the ball can make it tough on the hitters, but also on catcher Yadier Molina.
''You see a guy like Yadi, with great hands, not even know where the thing is going to go,'' Matheny said.
Garcia walked the first batter in the second and fourth innings, but Brewers couldn't capitalize on either of them.
''When you face good pitchers, you get less pitches to hit, less hittable pitches,'' Brewers manager Craig Counsell said.
''You might get one shot, and you get a foul ball on that. That might be your only shot.''
Despite the walks, Garcia was happy with his performance.
''I was able to keep the ball down tonight and get some grounders when I needed them,'' he said. ''The defense did an unbelievable job behind me.''
The Cardinals turned two double plays, erasing a runner at first in the first and second innings.
''A lot of ground balls,'' Counsell said. ''That's what Garcia does, a lot of ground balls. We got some men on base with the walks, but we couldn't get anything going.''
Kevin Siegrist pitched the eighth and Rosenthal earned his 33rd save in 35 chances, striking out Ryan Braun, Khris Davis and Jason Rogers in the ninth.
''It's a battle, especially when this pitching staff rolls in here against us,'' Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. ''From their bullpen to their starters, they're really good. They've got the best staff in baseball.''
Carpenter hit his fourth career leadoff home run this season and Stephen Piscotty's two-out RBI single in the second gave Garcia all the run support he needed as the Cardinals won their fourth straight and major league-leading 71st game. Piscotty made it 3-0 with a two-out hit in the seventh.
Garcia was sidelined for the first 40 games of the season while continuing his recovery from thoracic outlet surgery.
Carpenter is batting .389 (14 for 36) with six home runs and 11 RBIs since returning to the leadoff spot on July 30.
Milwaukee starter Wily Peralta (2-7) settled down after Piscotty's run-scoring hit in the second and retired the next 14 batters. Randal Grichuk's hit with one out in the seventh snapped that string.
Peralta allowed five hits, one walk and struck out two in seven innings. It was his third start since returning from the 15-day disabled list on July 28 with a strained left oblique.
''I feel better, but not good enough to get a win,'' Peralta said.
Carpenter's home run in the first gave him five consecutive games with an extra-base hit, increasing his post All-Star total to 15, best in the NL.
THAT'LL LEAVE A MARK
In the bottom of the second, Jason Rogers swung and missed at a pitch in the dirt from Jaime Garcia that bounced once and then caromed off the right knee of home plate umpire John Hirschbeck. He fell to the ground, but then stood up under his own power after a brief delay. Brewers head athletic trainer Dan Wright came out to check on him, but Hirschbeck remained in the game.
Cardinals: OF Matt Holiday, on the 15-day disabled list since July 30 with a right quad strain, has been rehabbing and receiving treatment at Busch Stadium. No date has been set for his return.
Brewers: Dr. William Raasch is set to perform Tommy John surgery on RHP Taylor Williams, a non-roster invitee to spring training, on Tuesday in Milwaukee. Williams pitched two-thirds of an inning on March 7.
Cardinals: RHP John Lackey (9-7, 2.85 ERA) makes his team-leading 23rd start of the season. A victory makes it his 12th consecutive 10-win season. He is perfect in two starts against Milwaukee in 2015 and 4-1 in six career starts.
Brewers: RHP Jimmy Nelson (9-9, 3.57 ERA) makes his second start this season against the Cardinals. He is 0-4 with a 10.43 ERA in four games against St. Louis.