With a victory on Wednesday afternoon at Busch Stadium, the Cardinals completed their second home sweep of the season. The first was against the Dodgers, and this week, St. Louis finished off a three-game sweep of the Brewers with a 5-3 win.
Wednesday’s game was already the 10th meeting between these two teams in 2019 — and the last until August. Thank goodness.
Before the game, the Cardinals activated Harrison Bader off the injured list and optioned Daniel Ponce de Leon to Triple-A Memphis. Luke Gregerson was sent on a rehab assignment to Double-A Springfield.
At the plate, the Cardinals did the bulk of their damage in the fourth with a four-run frame. They were hitless before the inning against Brewers starter Jhoulys Chacin. Marcell Ozuna highlighted the inning with a three-run homer, and Yadier Molina followed with a solo shot. Jose Martinez drove in the club’s fifth and final run of the day in the seventh on a groundout. Ozuna, Paul Goldschmidt, Paul DeJong, and Lane Thomas each had two hits. This was Thomas’s first start; he started in center and later moved to right. Bader got some work in center (this is why Thomas moved to right) and struck out in his only plate appearance.
With his long ball on Wednesday, Ozuna is up to nine home runs through 22 games this season after hitting 23 in 148 games last year.
The hottest hitter on the planet strikes again! pic.twitter.com/39m9hL54cO— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) April 24, 2019
In his first start against the Brewers in over a year, Wainwright turned in six innings of work with only one real blemish. That blemish was a home run from Eric Thames in the first inning. Thames was starting in place of Christian Yelich. (We’ll talk more about Yelich in a second.) Wainwright enjoyed two double plays this afternoon to end the first and third innings.
This was the second win of the season for Wainwright and the 150th in his career. Wainwright is the fifth Cardinal to reach the milestone. Bob Gibson is at the top of that list with 251 wins.
Tyler Webb entered the game to open the seventh, with the left-handed-batting Travis Shaw due up. Webb fanned Shaw, and John Brebbia followed by working the next 1 2/3 innings seamlessly. Andrew Miller got in trouble in the ninth, as a single, walk, and hit batter loaded the bases with two outs. Ben Gamel walked to force in Milwaukee’s second run of the game, and, just moments later, Yelich was announced as a pinch-hitter. This led to manager Mike Shildt’s decision to bring in Jordan Hicks, with the tying runs on base and the go-ahead tally in the box.
Hicks fanned Yelich on a 2-2 changeup to lock down his seventh save. Yelich was 0-for-7 with four strikeouts in this series at Busch. Hicks is tied with Mets closer Edwin Diaz for second place in the National League in saves. Kirby Yates of the Padres leads with 12 in as many opportunities.
The Cardinals will be off on Thursday before the Reds come to town to open a three-game series. Miles Mikolas will start Friday’s series opener.