St. Louis right-hander Dakota Hudson made the first start of his career on Saturday. The 24-year-old Hudson, who landed his spot in the rotation after a dazzling spring to replace the injured Carlos Martinez, worked 4 ⅓ innings and fanned six Brewers batters; the problem was that three Brewers batters hit home runs.
Christian Yelich greeted Hudson with a solo home run in the first inning, followed by long balls from Mike Moustakas and Travis Shaw in Milwaukee’s three-run third. Hudson did not allow a home run in his 26 appearances in the Majors last season. Yelich has homered in the first three games of the season for the Brewers.
A positive point of this game for the Cardinals can, once again, be found in the bullpen. In relief of Hudson, Mike Mayers turned in 1 2⁄3 scoreless frames before two innings of zeroes from Dominic Leone.
At the plate, the Cardinals tallied seven hits. Second baseman Kolten Wong led the effort with a 3-for-3 day, including an RBI double in the fourth inning. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt, coming off of Friday’s three-homer game, batted in the club’s other run. In his first start of the season, center fielder Tyler O’Neill was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff pitched five innings of two-run ball before four relievers combined to pitch the final four innings of the game. Josh Hader struck out O’Neill, right fielder Dexter Fowler, and pinch-hitter Yairo Munoz in the ninth on nine pitches; with three strikeouts on nine pitches, it was an immaculate inning for the left-handed Hader, who is in his third season of work in the Milwaukee bullpen.
On Sunday afternoon, the Cardinals and Brewers will wrap up the Opening Series. It will be Corbin Burnes for the Brewers and Michael Wacha for the Cardinals, and the first pitch is scheduled for 1:10 PM Central time.