After losing big in the first game of the short series against Milwaukee on Tuesday, the Cardinals “played a hard nine” to take game two last night.
It was Adam Wainwrights second start since coming off the disabled list. He wasn’t dominant, but he definitely got the job done. He lasted 6 innings on 89 pitches, allowing 3 runs (2 earned), and got a pair of strikeouts. Kyle McClellan and Ryan Franklin each pitched a scoreless inning to bridge the gap to the ninth for Chris Perez.
After taking the lead with a four run eighth, the Cardinals looked once again to Perez to close it out. He was outstanding. Perez picked up his sixth save with three swinging strikeouts against the heart of the Milwaukee order. Derrick Goold has an excellent article on the rookie over at Bird Land.
The offense was quiet until the sixth, when Ryan Ludwick hit a solo homer off of Manny Parra. Ludwick still leads the team in home runs with 32. The Cards stranded the bases loaded in the seventh, and some words were exchanged between Albert Pujols and Carlos Villanueva. The rally came in the very next inning, with RBI going to Ludwick, Troy Glaus, Aaron Miles, and Felipe Lopez. More on the extracurriculars from Bernie Miklasz.
The final score was 5-3. Here’s the complete box score. The win bumped the Cardinals back up to 3.5 games behind the Brewers in the Wild Card race. The Phillies loom just a half-game behind the Cards, although they’ve just started a four game series against the Cubs in Chicago.
Following the day off today, the Cards will open a three game set in Houston tomorrow night. Kyle Lohse gets the ball for the Redbirds, while lefty Randy Wolf will start for the Astros. Milwaukee plays Pittsburgh, so anything less than a sweep of Houston would have to be considered unsuccessful. Go Cards!