Sunday August 9th, 2020 6:53PM

Brewers beat Cardinals 6-4 to open 3-game wild-card lead

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A chuckling Eric Thames said it felt so good he almost ripped third base out of the ground and hoisted it above his head.

A lot of that going around for Milwaukee these days.

Thames tripled and scored on reliever Bud Norris' throwing error in the eighth inning, and the Brewers improved their playoff positioning by topping the St. Louis Cardinals 6-4 on Monday night.

"You have to capitalize on errors and bad pitches, wild pitches and stuff like that," Thames said. "Tonight we did that."

Ryan Braun homered and Christian Yelich drove in two runs as Milwaukee won for the fourth time in five games. The Brewers (90-67) opened a three-game lead over St. Louis for the top spot in the wild-card standings and pulled within 1 1/2 games of the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs, who lost 5-1 to Pittsburgh.

"Offensively, we did a heck of a job," manager Craig Counsell said.

Corbin Burnes (7-0), the seventh of nine Milwaukee pitchers, got two outs for the win, and Corey Knebel worked the ninth for his 16th save. With a runner on, Jose Martinez fouled off four two-strike pitches before taking a called third strike for the final out.

Chase Anderson was slated to start before Counsell announced Sunday that the team had decided to go with a bullpen game instead. Dan Jennings made his first career start and retired Matt Carpenter on a grounder to second before the left-hander was replaced by Freddy Peralta, beginning a parade of relievers for the Brewers.

"Props to everybody who came in behind me and the position players for getting it done," Jennings said. "That's a grind right there."

Martinez and Marcell Ozuna homered off Josh Hader in the rain, but St. Louis (87-70) was unable to close out a one-run lead. The Cardinals' advantage in the race for the second NL wild card was trimmed to a half-game over Colorado, which cruised to a 10-1 win over Philadelphia.

"It's not frustrating, at all," Martinez said. "We've got two games to win the series."

Thames has played sparingly this year with the Brewers in playoff contention. But Counsell sent him up to hit for Burnes in the eighth and he tripled past a sliding Martinez in right field with one out.

"Oh man, it felt amazing," Thames said.

After Mike Moustakas was intentionally walked, Norris (3-6) tried a pickoff throw that hit the baserunner before bounding away from first baseman Matt Carpenter.

"It was called from the dugout. ... A decent throw, but obviously crept in and got him and the ball bounced away," Norris said. "Just a tough break. Very unfortunate."

Thames scored easily and Yelich added an RBI double in the ninth as Milwaukee improved to 9-8 against St. Louis this season. Yelich, one of the top candidates for NL MVP, also walked and scored on Braun's bases-loaded walk as the Brewers scored two runs in the sixth without a hit, opening a 3-1 lead.

St. Louis staged a dramatic rally as the showers intensified on a soggy night at Busch Stadium.

Martinez led off the sixth with a drive to center for his 17th homer, sending a charge through the crowd of 36,508. After Paul DeJong walked, Ozuna put the Cardinals in front with a screaming liner just over the wall in center.

Hader had given up just six homers in 51 appearances this year, and none since Anthony Rizzo connected for the Cubs on Sept. 3.

But Milwaukee quickly answered. The Brewers loaded the bases with one out in the seventh against Jordan Hicks, and Keon Broxton scampered home with the tying run on Yelich's fielder's choice back up the middle.


Counsell said All-Star reliever Jeremy Jeffress was unavailable because of neck spasms. The right-hander is day to day.


Brewers: Hader was visited by Counsell and a trainer after he slipped while trying to pick off Harrison Bader at second. But Hader said after the game he was fine.

Cardinals: 2B Kolten Wong struck out swinging as a pinch hitter in his first appearance since he left Friday's 5-3 victory over San Francisco with cramps in both hamstrings. "It's definitely turned a corner," he said before the loss. "It feels a lot better today."


Brewers left-hander Gio Gonzalez (9-11, 4.28 ERA) and Cardinals left-hander Austin Gomber (6-1, 3.63) pitch on Tuesday night. Gonzalez is 2-0 with a 1.65 ERA in three starts since he was acquired in a trade with Washington on Aug. 31. Gomber is coming off a solid start at Atlanta, allowing one run in five innings for an 8-1 victory.


Jay Cohen can be reached at


More AP MLB: and

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Baseball , AP Sports - Major League Baseball
© Copyright 2020
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Brewers beat Cardinals 6-4 to open 3-game wild-card lead
Thames scores go-ahead run in 8th as Brewers get big 6-4 win over Cardinals
12:51AM ( 5 minutes ago )
With newfound aggressiveness, GOP ramps up Kavanaugh fight
Kavanaugh says he won't let "false accusations drive me out of this process."
12:43AM ( 13 minutes ago )
China: Talks impossible with a US knife to Beijing's neck
Chinese official: Trade talks with Washington impossible while the United States 'holds a knife' to Beijing's neck by imposing tariff hikes
12:31AM ( 25 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Athletics clinch playoff berth with Rays' loss to Yankees
The Oakland Athletics have clinched their first playoff berth in four years, earning at least an American League wild card when the Tampa Bay Rays lost to the New York Yankees
10:43PM ( 2 hours ago )
Bobby Evans fired as San Francisco Giants general manager
Bobby Evans has been fired as the San Francisco Giants' general manager with the team in the final week of its second straight season with a losing record
10:21PM ( 2 hours ago )
Modric wins world player of year, ends Ronaldo-Messi duopoly
Luka Modric has broken a decade of award dominance by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi after being crowned world footballer of the year by FIFA, while Marta won the women's award for a sixth time
9:25PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Sports
Emotional weekend in Texas, Detroit
It was a weekend to honor a couple of baseball's distinguished sluggers
2:58AM ( 21 hours ago )
Allen's RBI single in 11th leads Indians past Red Sox, 4-3
Greg Allen's bases-loaded single with one out in the 11th inning lifted the Cleveland Indians to a 4-3 win over the Red Sox, denying Boston's bid for a club-record 106th victory for the second straight game
1:02AM ( 23 hours ago )
Bad day in the Bronx: Didi hurt, Yankees lose to lowly O's
The playoff-bound Yankees blew a three-run lead in a 6-3 loss to the lowly Baltimore Orioles _ and then came the really bad news
7:19PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Baseball
LEADING OFF: Braves try to clinch, Bosox aim for wins record
LEADING OFF: Braves try to clinch NL East, Red Sox aim for team wins record, Victor Martinez calls it a career
3:38AM ( 2 days ago )
Gurriel homers twice as Astros punch playoff ticket
Gurriel homers twice, drives in 7 as Astros clinch playoff berth by beating Angels 11-3
2:08AM ( 2 days ago )
Brewers use home run barrage to gain ground in NL Central
Travis Shaw, Mike Moustakas and Erik Kratz homered during a six-run sixth inning as the Milwaukee Brewers rallied for an 8-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates and gained ground in the NL Central race
1:43AM ( 2 days ago )
AP Sports - Major League Baseball
With newfound aggressiveness, GOP ramps up Kavanaugh fight
Kavanaugh says he won't let "false accusations drive me out of this process."
12:43AM ( 13 minutes ago )
China: Talks impossible with a US knife to Beijing's neck
Chinese official: Trade talks with Washington impossible while the United States 'holds a knife' to Beijing's neck by imposing tariff hikes
12:31AM ( 25 minutes ago )
Kluber wins his 20th as Indians beat White Sox 4-0
Corey Kluber struck out 11 in seven scoreless innings and won his 20th game, and Brandon Guyer hit a go-ahead solo homer in the seventh inning as the Cleveland Indians shutout the Chicago White Sox 4-0 on Monday night
12:24AM ( 32 minutes ago )
Defense pathologists questions accuracy of teen's autopsy
A defense expert in the trial of a white police officer charged with murder in the death of Laquan McDonald on Monday criticized the official autopsy results in testimony that seemed to contradict what video of the 2014 shooting shows
12:15AM ( 41 minutes ago )
After the hurricane comes the deluge on South Carolina coast
Eleven days ago, Lee Gantt was at a Hurricane Florence party in her neighborhood on the waterfront in Georgetown, where the story is some houses haven't flooded from the Sampit River since they were built before the American Revolution
12:09AM ( 46 minutes ago )