Milwaukee Brewers stymied by Martinez, own baserunning


Right-hander Carlos Martinez shut down the Milwaukee Brewers on four hits through scoreless innings and the St. Louis Cardinals ended the Crew’s one-game winning streak with a 3-0 victory in their series opener at Miller Park Friday night.

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The 23-year-old right-hander was making just his 11th career start, but was flat-out dealing, striking out eight and walking two.

And when Milwaukee (3-14) got runners on base, the TOOTBLAN epidemic that seems to surround the team returned.

For those of you who may not be familiar with the acronym, TOOTBLAN stands for “thrown out on the bases like a nincompoop” and there was plenty of that going around for the Brewers on Friday.

The Brewers ran into outs in the first and third innings, when they had a chance to get some things going against Martinez in the early going.

In the first, with runners at first and second with one out, Adam Lind hit a deep fly ball to center field. When the Cardinals bobbled the return throw to the infield, Gerardo Parra took off for third base and Ryan Braun headed to second, but was tagged out by St. Louis third baseman Matt Carpenter … easily.

In the third, pitcher Matt Garza strayed off second base and was caught in a rundown. Jean Segura ended the inning when he was caught stealing at second after Parra struck out.

Throw those gaffes in with the fact the Brewers were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and, well, yeah.

“Really, the first four innings we had people in scoring position,” manager Ron Roenicke told “First inning, third inning—ran into outs. We can’t do that. When we get people in scoring position and we have chances, we’ve just got to deliver better.”

Yet if there is a hallmark of Roenicke’s tenure with the Brewers, it is baserunners making outs in mysterious, baffling and sometimes just flat-out stupid ways.

“You want them to be aggressive and Parra did a nice job; you could tell he knew he was going to be safe,” Roenicke said of the play in the first inning. “But on the back end, you’ve just got to watch the play. If you start running and you see—it was Carpenter—a player there, then you just stop and go back to first. A lot of things could have changed.”

Apr 24, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Khris Davis (18) runs into the wall while chasing a foul ball during the seventh inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Garza (1-3) delivered Milwaukee’s third straight quality start, but his was by the barest definition only. Garza surrendered three runs on seven hits in six innings, fanning six and walking two, and coughing up two solo homers.

St. Louis (11-4) got its first—and the only one needed—run in the top of the second on an RBI groundout by Yadier Molina after the Cardinals got back-to-back singles to open the inning and, after a force out at third, Garza wild-pitched both runners into scoring position.

Jason Heyward hit his second home run of the season with two outs in the top of the third to put St. Louis up 2-0 and Jhonny Peralta hit his second of the year leading off the sixth.

Trevor Rosenthal set down Milwaukee in order in the ninth to pick up his seventh save.

The Brewers got three scoreless innings from the bullpen, with Will Smith allowing a hit and a walk with two strikeouts in 1.1 innings, Jeremy Jeffress retiring the two batters he faced in the eighth and Neal Cotts working a 1-2-3 ninth with a punchout.

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  • Segura lifted his average back above the .300 mark with a 2-for-4 night and Khris Davis hit a double.

    Thus endeth the offensive highlights for the Crew, who are hitting .215 as a team after Friday’s loss.

    Milwaukee trails the first-place Cardinals by nine games already, a larger deficit than they faced in all of the 2014 season.

    So that’s not exactly encouraging, either.

    The series continues at 6:10 p.m. Saturday at Miller Park, with right-hander Wily Peralta (0-2, 5.68) dueling with right-hander Adam Wainwright (2-1, 1.71 ERA).

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