At the beginning of the series on Friday, the Cardinals had listed Lance Lynn as Sunday’s probable pitcher. However, with Boston scheduled to come in for three games starting on Tuesday, the club elected to slide new acquired John Lackey into Sunday’s start. Lackey won his St. Louis debut as the Cardinals rallied for three runs in the seventh inning, capped by a go-ahead from rookie Oscar Taveras in a 3-2 final. The win closes the Cardinals to within one game of the Central Division leading Brewers.
The offense took advantage of the Milwaukee bullpen in the seventh after starter Matt Garza removed himself with an oblique injury. The Cardinals had just one hit against Garza in the first six innings as he recorded four strikeouts. Matt Holliday homered off Zach Duke with one out in the seventh. Recently acquired A.J. Pierzynski hit a tying single off Jeremy Jeffress (0-1) and Taveras singled up the middle.
Lackey allowed two runs and seven hits in seven innings. Trevor Rosenthal struck out Carlos Gomez with two on for his major league-leading 34th save in 38 chances.
Lackey on his first game with the Cardinals
On Saturday, the Cardinals offense jumped out to a 6-1 lead for Justin Masterson, who gave up five runs on seven hits over six innings. He was acquired from Cleveland on Wednesday for minor league outfielder James Ramsey. Kyle Lohse, who pitched for the Cardinals from 2008-12, gave up nine runs on nine hits over four innings.
August is the month for the Cardinals to make their move. Milwaukee’s schedule this month includes six games against San Francisco and the Dodgers, the two front runners in the West. Three against Pittsburgh and two more against Toronto, both Wild Card contending teams. They catch a little break with road trips to Chicago and San Diego, but 17 games in the month of August against playoff caliber teams will test the mettle of Milwaukee.
Meanwhile the Cardinals take Monday off before getting ready for a World Series rematch with the rebuilding Red Sox and a weekend road trip to first place Baltimore. After that, the Cardinals play Miami, San Diego, Cincinnati, and Philadelphia. Teams that are a combined 26 games under .500.