Weaver gives Brewers fits again in Cardinals’ 10-2 win
MILWAUKEE — Luke Weaver delivered one of the best performances of his young career the last time he stepped foot in Miller Park, striking out a then-career-high eight batters, so it stood to reason that the Brewers would adjust when the young St. Louis right-hander took the mound against them less than a month later.
Instead, he picked up where he left off, striking out 10 batters for the second straight start as the Cardinals trounced their National League Central rivals 10-2.
“His best start was probably his last one here,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “They got a good look at him so you wonder if they’re going to make adjustments. It was a good test for him tonight. We needed that.”
Weaver (3-1) worked 5 2/3 innings, holding Milwaukee to two runs, eight hits and a walk. He wasn’t challenged until his final inning, when Keon Broxton’s RBI single made it 9-2 and the Brewers went on to load the bases before Zach Duke took over and ended the threat.
“The last inning, I made some good pitches, but the life wasn’t quite there,” Weaver said. “I feel like I made some pitches, but it just didn’t go my way.”
Weaver got plenty of support from the Cardinals’ offense, which combined for 11 hits with Tommy Pham, Paul DeJong, Luke Voit and Carson Kelly each recording two.
Voit added four RBIs, DeJong had three and Matt Carpenter hit his 18th home run of the season.
It was a costly homer for Carpenter, who a day earlier had pledged to donate $10,000 to relief efforts in his hometown of Houston for each home run he hit the remainder of the season.
“It felt really, really good to be able to get one out of the way, do it in the first game,” he said. “Now I’m just not going to think about it, I’m going to go out and play and continue to help us win, but I’m definitely glad to get one out of the way for sure.”
Matheny’s two sons attend community college in Houston and have been stuck in their apartment because of rising floodwaters. He, too, was happy to see Carpenter come through in his first attempt.
“It was a great move on his part,” Matheny said. “Happy to see him write that check. Hope he keeps doing it every night. As soon as he hit the dugout, guys were reminding him that it was a costly one, but it was nice to see.”
The home run was one of six runs allowed by Brewers right-hander Matt Garza, whose up-and-down season took a dip thanks to five walks and four hits in 3 1/3 innings. Milwaukee’s defense didn’t do him any favors, either, committing two errors in the third inning that allowed the Cardinals to take a 3-0 lead.
“Well, walks, errors, that never looks good, for sure,” Brewers manger Craig Counsell said. “We didn’t play well tonight. There is not much good to talk about.”
Eric Thames’ solo home run in the third was the lone offensive bright spot of the night for Milwaukee, which managed a run in the sixth on Keon Broxton’s RBI single but otherwise went 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left eight stranded for the night.
“He was mixing pretty well,” Broxton said of Weaver. “He was mixing in a changeup, at least to me, and a fastball that’s a pretty good pitch to a right-handed batter. He stayed on the edges, got some questionable calls, and it just worked out in his favor.”
The loss, combined with the Chicago Cubs’ victory over Pittsburgh, dropped second-place Milwaukee to 3 1/2 games back in the NL Central race. Third-place St. Louis remained five games out of the division lead.
NOTES: Cardinals C Yadier Molina was scratched an hour before the game because of lower right abdominal soreness. ... Milwaukee announced that LHP Brent Suter will make a rehab start Wednesday with Class A Wisconsin. Suter (left rotator cuff strain) will be joined at Wisconsin by C Andrew Susac, who will go on rehab as he works his way back from a strained right trapezius. ... Brewers C Manny Pina felt discomfort in his hip and was replaced by Stephen Vogt in the fourth inning. Pina said he wasn’t sure if he’d be in the lineup Wednesday for the series finale.