Two-run 10th inning is just enough for the Brewers as they edge the Cardinals to even the series

·7 min read
Luis Urías rings the bell in the Brewers dugout after socking a solo home run against the Cardinals in the eighth inning Saturday night in an eventual 3-2 Milwaukee win in 10 innings.
Luis Urías rings the bell in the Brewers dugout after socking a solo home run against the Cardinals in the eighth inning Saturday night in an eventual 3-2 Milwaukee win in 10 innings.

ST. LOUIS - It was a game the Milwaukee Brewers absolutely had to have.

And thanks to some late-arriving offense, they got it.

Hunter Renfroe and Kolten Wong each drove in runs in the 10th inning to spark a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium, a matchup between Central Division rivals that had been dominated by pitching for the first nine.

Luis Urías homered in the eighth to pull Milwaukee (61-51) even with St. Louis (62-51), which had its lead trimmed back to just a half game with the series finale looming on Sunday afternoon.

"It's a good win against a good team, and a team that we're neck-and-neck with. So, it's important," manager Craig Counsell said. "These games are really important, and it gives us a chance to win the series tomorrow."

BOX SCORE: Brewers 3, Cardinals 2 (10 innings)

Luis Urías finally gets the Brewers on the board with a home run

Milwaukee's offense had been dead in the water all night against the 40-year-old Adam Wainwright as he took a no-hitter into the seventh and had allowed only a single to Andrew McCutchen entering the eighth.

Kolten Wong opened by grounding out, then Urías took a first-pitch, 89-mph fastball from Wainwright the other way into the St. Louis bullpen to knot the score at 1-1.

"I think he made a mistake right there," said Urías, whose homer was his first since July 27. "Obviously, the whole game he was making great pitches and in that AB I was lucky to have a fastball to hit."

Taylor Rogers has big strikeouts after coming on for Corbin Burnes 

Corbin Burnes, who'd been masterful in his own right in limiting the Cardinals to a run on four hits without a walk in 96 pitches, was pulled in favor of Taylor Rogers.

Pitching for the first time since having a cortisone shot in his left knee on Sunday, he responded with a scoreless eighth that was punctuated by back-to-back strikeouts of Albert Pujols and Tyler O'Neill.

Wainwright responded by setting the Brewers down in order in the ninth, tying his longest outing of the season.

"His curveball's pretty good, but the way he throws every pitch — I wouldn't say he's unhittable, but every time he hit the spot," Urías said. "So he is unhittable even if he throws 88 or 90. It's really hard to put it in play."

Hunter Renfroe's aggressiveness pays off for the Brewers

After Devin Williams tossed a scoreless ninth, Renfroe greeted Giovanny Gallegos with a triple to right-center — a drive that scored McCutchen from second and gave the Brewers their first lead of the game.

"I was just looking for something out over the plate," Renfroe said. "Got a fastball out over. Probably a little high, honestly, and was able to stay right-center and drive it."

Renfroe's decision to try for three wound up paying off big-time as Wong followed with a sacrifice fly to center that upped Milwaukee's advantage to 3-1.

"It's an aggressive play," Counsell said. "I thought it was kind of 50-50 at the time, but you make them make a play. The throw had to be perfect to get him, and it wasn't perfect."

Said Renfroe, whose three-bagger was his first since April 10, 2019: "I was watching Corey (Dickerson in right field) the whole time and was able to see when he got the ball. When he got the ball I was pretty much at second base, and I was like, 'I'm going to go.' They've got to make pretty much two really good throws there to nail me, and obviously I was there safe, so it worked out for us."

Newly acquired relief pitcher Matt Bush gets another save

The Cardinals scored once against Matt Bush in the 10th, on a sac fly, but the right-hander recovered to strike out Yadier Molina and Tommy Edman to lock down his second save in five appearances for the Brewers since being acquired at the trading deadline.

"Big innings for sure," Counsell said when asked about Rogers and Bush specifically. "Proud of both of them coming into big spots. Matt's found himself at the back end of some games, which is maybe not the original plan but it's been four extra-inning games since those guys have been here.

"That's just the way the games have gone."

Said Bush: "I haven't been used to pitching in these tight games, going for playoff potential and what-not, so it's really huge for me to get my feet wet in a place like St. Louis tonight. It's a blast. It's a little nerve-wracking, but just trying to stay confident the best I can and remember to let my body take over. It's something I've been doing my whole life."

Burnes and Adam Wainwright were masterful in pitcher's duel

The pitcher's duel that some may have expected played out from the opening inning.

Wainwright walked Rowdy Tellez with two outs in the first but was untouchable after that, using his signature curveball along with a cutter and sinker to generate a mix of groundouts and soft flyouts along with a handful of strikeouts.

Burnes, meanwhile, allowed singles to Paul DeJong in the second and Brendan Donovan in the fourth while also striking out a trio of hitters.

The Brewers' best shot at a hit through the first six innings came on an opposite-field drive by Yelich, but Donovan was able to glove the ball just a few feet shy of the left-field wall.

After Burnes retired the side in order in the sixth — making it nine straight retired for him at that point — Wainwright got to within a batter of seven no-hit innings before McCutchen ripped a single to left.

That it was McCutchen who finally broke through wasn't altogether surprising; he entered the game with the second-most career at-bats against Wainwright (73) to go with a .329 average.

Wainwright recovered by striking out Renfroe, leaving him at just 79 pitches through seven innings.

The game flipped in the Cardinals' favor in the bottom of the frame as Paul Goldschmidt opened with a single and two batters later Nolan Gorman ripped a one-out double to center.

Taylor didn't take a direct route to the ball, and then a poor relay throw home allowed Goldschmidt to slide into home plate easily with the game's first run.

Burnes finished the inning with a pair of strikeouts, giving him six for the game.

Gorman's double snapped a 21 ⅓-inning streak of shutout baseball for Burnes against the Cardinals. His last run allowed to St. Louis came on Sept. 5, 2021 — a span of three starts.

"There's no secrets as far as pitches or sequences — it's just execution," Counsell said of Burnes. "Corbin just executed a ton of pitches tonight. Possibly the best start we've seen from him this year.

"I think he was really, really good today. He made one mistake today and unfortunately it cost us a run, but seven just really quality innings."

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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Luis Urías homer off Wainwright, two runs in 10th lead Brewers to win