Diaz’s pinch-homer lifts Cardinals past Brewers 4-1
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Aledmys Diaz arrived at Miller Park for Saturday night’s game with a stiff back and a sore shoulder that kept him out of the starting lineup. He put the hurt on the Milwaukee Brewers in a clutch moment off the bench late in the game.
Diaz hit a go-ahead pinch-homer leading off the seventh against reliever Carlos Torres, helping the St. Louis Cardinals beat Milwaukee 4-1.
″(Diaz) was kind of lobbying to be in there today,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “I just needed to get him off his feet a little bit, and not just keeping pushing. But I had an idea he’d be an option for us.”
Torres (0-2) said the pitch Diaz hit for his fourth homer missed inside.
“The pitch didn’t go anywhere near where it was supposed to go,” he said.
Lance Lynn, who missed all last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, pitched six strong innings for St. Louis. Lynn (2-1) gave up a run and three hits in six innings. He struck out seven and walked two.
“I have confidence in that I’m healthy and again I can trust myself and my stuff,” Lynn said.
Seung Hwan Oh got his fourth save in five tries.
Travis Shaw had an RBI double in the first for Milwaukee, and the Cardinals tied it at 1 in the fourth on Ryan Braun’s two-base error. Braun made a diving catch on Kolten Wong’s soft liner, but his throw to second from his knees sailed out of play down the first-base line, allowing a run to score.
St. Louis tacked on two runs in the ninth. Jedd Gyorko drove in a run with a triple and scored on an outfield throwing error.
The Brewers loaded the bases in the eighth, but Brett Cecil got Shaw to pop out to third to end the inning.
Milwaukee starter Chase Anderson didn’t allow an earned run in six innings. He surrendered six hits, struck out six and walked one.
The Brewers failed to hit a home run for the first time in 14 games. Eric Thames, who leads Milwaukee with eight home runs, drew three walks.
The Cardinals led off the first three innings with doubles off Anderson. Greg Garcia hit leadoff doubles in the first and third, while Yadier Molina belted a two-base hit to start the second. None of the hits resulted in runs for the Cardinals. Although the leadoff streak ended, Randal Grichuk doubled with one-out in the fourth.
The Cardinals won despite going 0 for 14 with runners in scoring position and stranding 11 runners.
“Too many missed opportunities,” Matheny said. “It’s putting a lot more on our pitching.”
With one out in the fifth, Anderson struck out while attempting to bunt on a safety squeeze, leaving Broxton caught in a rundown. He was tagged out to end the threat.
“I was already on the move, just being aggressive and hoping that Chase would put it somewhere,” Broxton said. “If it’s executed right, I score easily and it’s a different ballgame.”
Cardinals: OF Dexter Fowler, who left Friday night’s game with right heel bursitis, remained out of the lineup. “Half a game is not going to be enough to straighten something out,” Matheny said. “He came in today in better shape. A good chance to get him back in there tomorrow.”
Brewers: RHP Matt Garza (right groin strain) threw a bullpen session on Saturday. He will make his first start of the season Monday against Cincinnati. Manager Craig Counsell said Garza threw 87 pitches in his last minor league rehab start and won’t be held to a specific pitch count. “No restrictions,” Counsell said.
Cardinals: Mike Leake (2-1, 0.84 ERA) leads the National League in ERA. He is 4-4 with a 4.30 ERA in 13 career starts against Milwaukee. Leake was 2-0 with a 3.32 ERA with 20 strikeouts and two walks facing the Brewers last season.
Brewers: Jimmy Nelson (1-0, 4.42) is 0-7 with a 7.34 ERA in nine career games (eight starts) against St. Louis. He went 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA in three versus the Cardinals last season.
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