Crew hits quality pitches in big inning against Lynn
Righty features good stuff, but can't hold lead as Molina stays hot
MILWAUKEE -- For Cardinals starter Lance Lynn, assessing his Tuesday outing was quick and easy.
"We lost. Wasn't good," Lynn said.
The Brewers strung together five singles around a Lynn error in a five-run fourth inning and former Cardinal Kyle Lohse quieted the St. Louis bats for a 6-3 Brewers win, evening the three-game set at a game apiece at Miller Park.
Despite having what he called good stuff, Lynn was frustrated by a Brewers rally that saw seeing-eye singles, similar to the ones the Cardinals used a day earlier in the eighth inning of Monday's 8-5 win.
Was it as disappointing a loss as Lynn has suffered this season?
"You can say that," Lynn said. "When you have that kind of stuff and you give up five runs on all singles -- they don't get any extra-base hits -- it's tough to swallow."
The Brewers entered the inning with one hit off Lynn and exited with six, flipping a 3-0 deficit into a 5-3 lead. Lynn labored through 24 pitches in the frame, many of which Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said were quality ones.
"[Lynn] actually had good stuff," Matheny said. "Came out of the cage with some real good life to his fastball, working ahead, doing everything. He had his breaking ball, his cutter. He had good stuff."
The rally started with a Jonathan Lucroy sinking line drive that rolled out of the glove of a diving Jon Jay in center field. Aramis Ramirez followed with a ground ball through the left side of the infield and Khris Davis tapped a chopper back to Lynn, who could not corral it for an error to load the bases.
Scooter Gennett shot an RBI single up the middle two pitches later, and Sean Halton tied the game at 3 with another line drive through the middle to score Ramirez and Davis.
Logan Schafer then threw his bat at a 2-2 low-and-away changeup and flared it over shortstop Daniel Descalso's head for an RBI single and a 4-3 Brewers lead. Lohse bunted the runners to second and third, and Norichika Aoki capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly.
"The fourth rolled around, and it got started with a sideways flying liner that Jonny just couldn't come up with," Matheny said. "Then they started snowballing a little bit."
Lohse's bunt, which popped into the air and landed in front of a hesitant David Freese at third base, helped turn the momentum. Freese made the out at first, but Matheny said he could have had more.
"You'd like to see that caught," Matheny said. "When it goes in the air, you think it's a caught ball, and it ended up costing [Lynn] an extra run, as well."
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said he also thought Lynn had good stuff, but Lohse pointed to the killer instinct of the Brewers during the fourth-inning rally as the difference.
Lynn has 13 wins on the year, but in his losses, it is the big inning that hurts him.
"We were very opportunistic there and took advantage of some pitches," Lohse said. "Like I told a couple of guys, that's what you've got to do with Lynn if he starts missing a couple of spots. You have to get on him right away, and we did."
Asked if there was a difference between his first three scoreless innings and the fourth, Lynn said, "No, they just had better placement."
"If it looks like he's walking the house and he just has zero control, and he's leaving balls in the heart of the plate, it's one thing," Matheny said. "But when he's getting the ground balls and they're making their way through, there's not a whole lot to do. Now, we'll take another look and see how it looked on film, but he was making pretty good pitches. And he finished up pretty strong, too.
"It's just that one inning got him, and there's not really a great explanation for it."
"Just one of those innings where things are dropping, not going our way," Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong said after he went 3-for-5. "Unfortunately, they scored the majority of their runs in that inning. That's baseball. That's just how it's going to be. One team's going to get some breaks here and there."
Milwaukee's rally spoiled another big day from Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, who is 6-for-9 in the series with two doubles, a home run, three RBIs and three runs scored.
Molina finished 2-for-4 Tuesday with a double and a two-run home run that gave the Cardinals an early 3-0 lead.
Molina, who also hit a double and scored in the second, took a 2-1 Lohse sinker into the Brewers' bullpen in left-center field in the fourth inning for his 10th home run.
"[The pitch] was right where we wanted it," Roenicke said. "So, I don't know. That guy, he's a pain to get out. Kyle thought he made a good pitch, and he ends up hitting a home run on him."
Halton padded the Milwaukee lead with his second RBI single up the middle off Lynn in the fifth inning.
Matt Adams drove in the first St. Louis run in the second inning with a single up the middle, scoring Molina from second.
Lynn threw six innings, allowing six runs (four earned) on nine hits (all singles), while walking three and striking out two. He threw 112 pitches, 69 for strikes. Lohse tossed six innings, allowing three earned runs on six hits, walking two and striking out four. He threw 111 pitches, 69 for strikes. Lynn dropped to 13-7 on the season, and Lohse jumped above .500 to 9-8.
"He competed, he always does," said Matheny of Lohse, who won 16 games for the Cardinals last year. "No surprise, we've seen that guy many times."