Wolf holds off Cardinals; Brewers rally to tie NLCS

Posted: 14/10/2011 in Baseball, MLB
Randy Wolf shined in the longest postseason start of his career, tossing seven innings of two-run baseball to help the Milwaukee Brewers beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 4-2, and even the National League Championship Series at two games apiece.
Ryan Braun’s run-scoring single in the fifth inning proved to be the difference for the Brewers, who bounced back from a 4-3 loss on Wednesday. George Kottaras, Jerry Hairston Jr. and Yuniesky Betancourt each added an RBI.
Wolf (1-1) gave up two runs — both off solo homers — on six hits to pick up his first career postseason win. The left-hander struck out six and walked one.
With the victory, the Brewers secured at least one more home playoff game. Milwaukee excelled at home during the regular season, setting a franchise record by going 57-24, and the club has a mark of 4-1 at Miller Park during the postseason.
“Real important for us to go back home,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “I still think that we can play good ball on the road. But it’s important to go back home for sure. Hopefully we’ll do it with a lead, but if not, we have got two games there.”
Matt Holliday and Allen Craig hit solo homers for the Cardinals, who went 0- for-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded eight.
Kyle Lohse (0-2) allowed three runs on six hits over 4 1/3 innings to take the loss.
“Well, I thought his stuff was good. Delivery was good most of the time,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. “And, you know, couple of times that he wasn’t sharp, good hitters got him.”
Game 5 will take place back here in St. Louis on Friday at 8:05 p.m. (et). Zack Greinke of the Brewers will go against Jaime Garcia.
With one out in the second inning, Holliday was able to make contact with a changeup over the outside part of the plate. The wind carried the high fly ball just over the wall near the right-field foul pole. St. Louis went on to put men on second and third with two outs, but Lohse struck out swinging to keep it 1-0.
Craig’s homer over the right-center field wall in the third made it a 2-0 contest.
The middle of Milwaukee’s lineup helped the visitors tie the game in the fourth. Prince Fielder got things started with a a double to right-center field. Two batters later, Hairston hit an RBI double past a diving David Freese and down the left-field line. Betancourt followed with a line drive single up the middle. Hairston made a great slide around catcher Yadier Molina’s tag to make it 2-2. Lohse retired the next two batters to limit the damage.
The Brewers took the lead during their next at-bat. Nyjer Morgan led off with a double down the left-field line and moved to third on Mark Kotsay’s groundout. Mitchell Boggs came in from the bullpen and was greeted by Braun’s RBI single to left. Second baseman Ryan Theriot followed with a nice stop on Fielder’s grounder, which was the start of an inning-ending double play.
Milwaukee tacked on another run in the sixth. Rickie Weeks singled and Hairston doubled to start the frame. The runners stayed at second and third following Betancourt’s groundout. Arthur Rhodes came in from the bullpen to face Kottaras, who hit a soft grounder to Theriot. The second baseman failed to field the ball cleanly, which allowed Weeks to score for a 4-2 lead. Morgan struck out looking to end the inning.
Holliday led off the home sixth with a double, but Wolf retired the next three batters.
St. Louis continued to struggle with runners in scoring position in the eighth. Francisco Rodriguez put a runner on second with two outs before striking out Molina.
John Axford worked around a two-out single in the ninth to pick up the save.
– Steve

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