Renfroe's first triple since '19 helps Crew come back

Brewers don't waste Burnes' dominant outing, climb half-game behind 1st-place Cards

August 14th, 2022

ST. LOUIS -- Hunter Renfroe didn’t hesitate, and it ended up paying off for the Brewers in a big way.

Renfroe’s leadoff triple in the 10th inning scored Andrew McCutchen to break a 1-1 tie and helped propel the Crew to a big 3-2 win in 10 innings over the Cardinals on Saturday night at Busch Stadium in a game with a postseason feel.

“I was watching I guess it was Corey [Dickerson] out there the whole time, and pretty much when he got the ball, I was at second base,” Renfroe said. “I was like, ‘I'm gonna go.’ And you pretty much have to make two really good throws there to nail me, and obviously I was there safe, so it worked out for us.”

Renfroe’s triple, his first since April 10, 2019, set up Kolten Wong’s sacrifice fly that ended up being the game-winning run.

“It's an aggressive play, and I thought it was kind of 50-50 at the time, but you make them make a good play,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “And you know the throw had to be perfect to get him, and it wasn't perfect.”

The late comeback meant Milwaukee didn’t waste another dominant outing by reigning NL Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes, who struck out six while allowing just one run on four hits in seven innings.

“I thought just Corbin was really high level of execution tonight,” Counsell said. “You know there's no secret as far as pitches or sequences and you know what your stuff is going to do, and so it's just execution. And Corbin just executed a ton of pitches tonight. Possibly the best start we've seen from him this year.”

The Cardinals finally broke through against Burnes in the seventh inning as Nolan Gorman’s double went off the left-center-field wall and scored Paul Goldschmidt all the way from first base.

The run snapped Burnes’ 22 straight scoreless innings against St. Louis, the longest shutout streak the Brewers’ ace has had against any opponent. Gorman’s double plated the Cardinals’ first run against Burnes since a Harrison Bader double in the fourth inning of a start on Sept. 5, 2021.

“For me, I'm going out there and I'm preparing as if I would prepare for any start,” Burnes said. “I think it just so happens to line up that probably the three best games of the year have been against these guys. And you know, it's a good team to have good games against with being this close in the division with them.”

In between runs allowed, Burnes struck out 26 batters.

Burnes pitched seven shutout innings in each of his first two starts this season against the Cardinals, allowing just two hits in each game. Burnes retired 18 of the first 20 batters he faced Saturday, before Goldschmidt led off the seventh with a single.

“We were better, but one run in seven innings isn't going to win many games,” Goldschmidt said. “If we face him again, we'll have to do better if we expect to win. It was a little better, but definitely not good enough.”

Burnes’ counterpart Adam Wainwright was, literally, unhittable for six of his nine innings. The 40-year-old right-hander carried a no-hitter into the seventh before McCutchen broke it up with a two-out single.

“He wasn’t throwing a whole lot of balls in the middle,” Renfroe said. “You know when you got guys painting corners, keeping you off balance, spinning the ball really well, especially with the stuff that he has, it makes it tough on the offense. And he didn't leave a whole lot of balls over the middle part of the plate.”

Luis Urías made Wainwright pay on one of his few mistakes of the night with a solo homer in the eighth to even the game.

The Cardinals tried to capitalize on a leadoff single by Yadier Molina in the eighth, bringing in Albert Pujols as a pinch-hitter to face Taylor Rogers, but Rogers struck out Pujols on an eight-pitch at-bat. Matt Bush picked up his second save in five appearances since being dealt to Milwaukee from Texas at the Trade Deadline.

The win moved the Brewers to within a half-game of the Cardinals for the National League Central lead. Milwaukee can move back into the top spot with a win in the rubber game of the series Sunday.

“It's a good win against a good team and a team that we're neck and neck with, so it's important,” Counsell said. “These games are really important, and it gives us a chance to win the series.”