Brewers fall short against Cardinals 2-1

Steven Matz pitched 5 2/3 shutout innings and combined with three relievers on a five-hitter as the St. Louis Cardinals edged the Milwaukee Brewers 2-1 on Saturday night.

Paul DeJong hit a two-out RBI double in the fourth and Corey Dickerson singled home an insurance run with two outs in the eighth.

The Brewers tried to rally in the final two innings

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After Mike Brosseau hit a drive to right that Dylan Carlson caught in front of the wall, Victor Caratini ripped a two-out solo shot to left off Génesis Cabrera that cut the Cardinals’ lead to 2-1.

Giovanny Gallegos struck out Andrew McCutchen to end the eighth and worked around Willy Adames' leadoff single in the ninth to earn his second save in as many opportunities.

Matz bounced back from a dreadful debut with his new team after signing a four-year, $44 million contract in the offseason. Matz, who went 14-7 with a 3.82 ERA for Toronto last season, lasted only three innings and gave up seven earned runs Sunday in a 9-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

He was much, much better Saturday.

Matz retired 11 straight batters at one point. The 30-year-old left-hander struck out six, allowed three hits and walked nobody.

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The Cardinals needed Matz to pitch well because they didn’t figure to produce much offense against Brewers starter Adrian Houser.

Houser went 3-0 with an 0.36 ERA in four starts against the Cardinals last season. Houser pretty much silenced the St. Louis lineup again Saturday, as he allowed one run and four hits in 5 2/3 innings with four strikeouts and three walks.

But his occasional control issues – he threw 54 strikes and 43 balls – proved costly in the fourth inning.

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After Houser issued consecutive one-out walks to Tyler O’Neill and Nolan Arenado, DeJong hit a two-out double to left that brought home O’Neill.

The Cardinals extended the lead to 2-0 in the eighth against Jake Cousins.

Arenado started the rally with a two-out double to left on his 31st birthday. Arenado advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored when Dickerson lined a single to right.

Trainer's room

Cardinals: C Yadier Molina was out of the lineup for a second straight day, but manager Oliver Marmol said the 39-year-old isn’t feeling any different from normal. The Cardinals are just resting him a little more after an abbreviated spring. "We’ll ease him in," Marmol said. "I think the long haul, playing the long game here is a better play than rushing him in."

Brewers: LHP Brent Suter worked the ninth inning one night after a scary incident in which he ran into the railing in front of the Cardinals dugout while chasing a foul pop. "He just lost himself on the field a little bit, and obviously it’s not a play that pitchers are required to make very much," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said before the game. "Frankly, we got lucky that he’s OK."

Up next

RHP Dakota Hudson (0-0, 6.75 ERA) pitches for the Cardinals and LHP Aaron Ashby (0-1, 1.80) starts for the Brewers as this four-game series concludes Sunday afternoon.

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