The Milwaukee Brewers haven’t fared well against the St. Louis Cardinals lately, winning just six of the last 21 meetings. Despite recent history, the Brewers will vie for a series win in Wednesday’s rubber game at Miller Park after holding on for a 3-2 victory Tuesday. Milwaukee appears to have found its new closer in Francisco Rodriguez. K-Rod, the former Angels and Mets closer with nearly 300 career saves, allowed two ninth-inning hits Tuesday but escaped to close out his first chance since replacing John Axford. Milwaukee could be without slugger Ryan Braun, who left Tuesday’s game with a right groin strain.
St. Louis is 1-4 since the All-Star break as it continues to struggle with runners in scoring position. The team went 2-for-10 in Tuesday’s loss while being victimized by three double plays. Cardinals RBI leader Carlos Beltran did have a sacrifice fly, but his 0-for-3 night left him in a 7-for-44 slump. Left fielder Matt Holliday’s status is unclear after he was hit by a pitch on his left thigh and forced to leave Tuesday’s game.
Cardinals Brewers Betting
When: 2:10 PM ET, Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Where: Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
TV: 2:10 p.m. ET, FS-M, FSWI
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Adam Wainwright (7-9, 4.62 ERA) vs. Brewers RH Tyler Thornburg (0-0, 7.36 ERA)
Wainwright faced Milwaukee on April 7, allowing three earned runs in 5 2/3 innings of a 6-0 loss. In 22 career appearances against the Brewers, he’s 7-5 with a 2.20 ERA. Batters are hitting .272 this season against Wainwright, who has alternated wins and losses over his last eight decisions.
The 23-year-old Thornburg makes his second big-league start in place of struggling Zack Greinke, whose spot in the rotation was skipped. Thornburg also started June 19 when he was called up from Double-A for the injured Shaun Marcum. Thornburg pitched two innings of relief last Saturday against Pittsburgh, giving up two walks and a homer but also fanning three.
1. St. Louis veteran 1B Lance Berkman is 0-for-5 with three strikeouts since coming off the disabled list following knee surgery.
2. Cardinals C Yadier Molina is batting .429 (9-for-21) in his five-game hitting streak.
3. Brewers 3B Aramis Ramirez has hit in 10 of his last 11 games after going 2-for-4 with an RBI on Tuesday.