With their ace Adam Wainwright on the hill, the Cardinals had a chance to move within one game of first place in the National League Central last night. Of course, as things often go in baseball, it didn’t work out that way.
The Brewers scored seven runs off Wainwright in a 7-4 victory over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Aramis Ramirez led the charge for Milwaukee’s offense by going 3-for-5 with a solo homer and an RBI double, but five Brewers had at least two hits.
Wily Peralta allowed two runs over 6 2/3 innings for his 13th victory. Matt Carpenter made things a little interesting in the ninth inning when he delivered a two-run triple, so Ron Roenicke was forced to bring in Francisco Rodriguez, but he managed to get Kolten Wong to ground out to end the ballgame.
The Brewers now have a three-game lead over the Cardinals in the NL Central. They’ll look to create some more distance tonight when they send Kyle Lohse up against Justin Masterson, who will be making his Cardinals debut.
Your Friday box scores:
Brewers 7, Cardinals 4
Mariners 1, Orioles 2
Phillies 2, Nationals 1
Rangers 2, Indians 12
Giants 5, Mets 1
Yankees 3, Red Sox 4
Reds 5, Marlins 2
Angels 5, Rays 3
Twins 8, White Sox 10
Pirates 9, Diamondbacks 4
Rockies 2, Tigers 4
Blue Jays 1, Astros 3
Cubs 8, Dodgers 2
Royals 1, Athletics 0
Braves 1, Padres 10
The Yankees and Astros are set for Game 7 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday, and neither team will hold back as they seek a World Series berth. The Astros are prepared to back starter Charlie Morton with any able-bodied pitcher in their ranks — including Justin Verlander, though A.J. Hinch said it would be a “dream scenario” to get anything more from his ace — while the Yankees are prepared to utilize all but a few of their arms. One pitcher you won’t see? Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who last took the hill for the Yankees during their Game 5 shutout on Wednesday.
Tanaka expended 103 pitches over seven scoreless innings in his last start, fending off the Astros with three hits, a walk and eight strikeouts. He hasn’t pitched on fewer than three days of rest all year, and even with a do-or-die scenario facing the Yankees on Saturday night, manager Joe Girardi doesn’t want to compromise his starter’s ability to stay rested and ready for the World Series.
Girardi will also play it safe with fellow right-hander Sonny Gray, who dominated in a five-inning performance in Game 4. All other pitchers should be available and ready to go, though the club is hoping for a lengthy outing from veteran starter CC Sabathia. Sabathia is no stranger to the postseason: over eight separate playoff runs, he touts one championship title and a collective 4.24 ERA in 123 innings. He held the Astros scoreless in his Game 3 start, blanking them over six innings on three hits, four walks and five strikeouts for an eventual 8-1 win.
Even without Tanaka or Gray likely to take the mound for Game 7, the Yankees will enter the series finale with history on their side. Per MLB.com, they have a 4-3 road record in Game 7s and are 6-7 in all 13 Game 7 finales to date. The Astros, on the other hand, dropped their first and only Game 7 clincher back in 2004, when the Cardinals capped the NLCS with a 5-2 win in St. Louis. The teams are scheduled to face off for the first-ever Game 7 at Minute Maid Park on Saturday at 8:00 PM ET.