MILWAUKEE - Keston Hiura hit a sacrifice fly to score Avisail Garcia with the winning run in the eighth inning as the Milwaukee Brewers rallied to edge the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in the opening game of a doubleheader Monday.
The Cardinals broke a scoreless tie in the top of the eighth when Tommy Edman’s two-out single up the middle off Freddy Peralta (2-1) brought home Tyler O’Neill, who had started the inning on second base under Major League Baseball’s new extra-inning format.
The Brewers answered off reliever Ryan Helsley (1-1) in the bottom of the eighth.
Avisail Garcia’s leadoff walk put runners on first and second. Helsley struck out Christian Yelich, but Ryan Braun followed with a double off the center-field wall that scored Tyrone Taylor and advanced Garcia to third.
Austin Gomber replaced Helsley and walked Jace Peterson to load the bases before Hiura hit his fly to left. Garcia scored without a throw.
Milwaukee’s rally in the eighth snapped the Brewers’ string of 21 consecutive scoreless innings. Chicago Cubs right-hander Alec Mills threw a no-hitter against them Sunday in a 12-0 blowout.
Monday’s doubleheader opened a three-day, five-game series between these NL Central rivals who were facing each other for the first time this season. The Brewers are playing the Cardinals 10 times over their last 16 games.
Milwaukee was supposed to open its home schedule against St. Louis on July 31, but the Cardinals had a coronavirus outbreak that caused that weekend series to get postponed.
The opener of this doubleheader was a pitchers’ duel between St. Louis’ Kwang Hyun Kim and Milwaukee’s Josh Lindblom, who both spent last season in the Korea Baseball Organization.
“Lindblom pitched well today and I I also think I pitched well today, but I just wish the KBO's other players who will will come to the MLB later on do well here as well,” Kim said through an interpreter. “So (it) just was a wonderful day today.”
The Brewers didn't have anyone speak to the media between games.
Both Kim and Lindblom hadn’t started a game since Sept 1. Kim had been dealing with an unspecified injury related to abdominal pain, while Lindblom had pitched just two innings of scoreless relief since his Sept. 1 start.
Kim struck out six and allowed three hits and three walks after getting activated from the injured list. Since earned runs became an official statistic in 1912, Kim is the first NL pitcher to have four straight starts in a season in which he threw at least five innings while allowing three or fewer hits and no earned runs.
The 32-year-old rookie from Korea hasn’t allowed an earned run over his last 24 innings, though he has given up one unearned run during that stretch.
“I am satisfied with my performance today, but unfortunately because our team lost, I’m not satisfied," Kim said.
Lindblom struck out six while allowing three hits and no walks in five shutout innings.
Cardinals: St. Louis placed outfielder Austin Dean on the 10-day injured list with a right elbow strain. The Cardinals activated Kim to start the first game of the doubleheader and recalled right-hander Daniel Ponce de Leon to start Monday’s second game. Kim had been on the injured list with an unspecified injury related to abdominal pain.
Brewers: Milwaukee activated right-handed reliever Ray Black from the 45-day injured list. Black hadn’t pitched all season due to a shoulder injury. He went 0-1 with a 5.14 ERA in 15 appearances last season.
The Brewers claimed outfielder Billy McKinney off waivers from Toronto and assigned him to their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin. They also designated infielder Ronny Rodriguez and right-hander Trey Supak for assignment.
“It’s possible he seems time this year,” Brewers general manager David Stearns said of McKinney. “It’s also a nod to future years, someone we think has the potential to impact our team down the road in future years. He has major league experience.”
Supak had posted an 11-4 record and 2.20 ERA in Double-A Biloxi and a 1-2 record with a 9.30 ERA for Triple-A San Antonio last season.
The Brewers also optioned right-hander J.P. Feyereisen to the alternate training site.
The Cardinals and Brewers meet again Tuesday in the lone single game of this three-day, five-game series. Jack Flaherty (3-1, 3.08 ERA) pitches for St. Louis and Brett Anderson (2-3, 4.64) starts for Milwaukee.