Defensive execution lacking in Cards' home debut

Wong commits 2 errors; Wainwright opens door with uneven outing

Defensive execution lacking in Cards' home debut

ST. LOUIS -- A year after playing 55 one-run games, the Cardinals have opened the 2015 once again allowing themselves little room for error. It even led manager Mike Matheny's wife to recently caution her husband that she wasn't sure she could go through a season with so many close games again.

"That wasn't encouraging news," quipped Matheny, who has seen his team's first six games determined by a total of 12 runs.

Monday's 5-4 loss to the Brewers was the Cardinals' first one-run loss of this season and was compounded by the team's inability to execute in several areas. Second baseman Kolten Wong made a pair of errors, which, along with a misplay by right fielder Jason Heyward, helped Milwaukee score three of its five runs off of starter Adam Wainwright.

"I'm going to take the blame on this loss because it's probably my loss," Wong said afterward. "I take pride in defense. I think it's something that has to bring me down to help me realize that I still need to continue to work."

Gomez scores on error

The burden didn't entirely belong on his shoulders, however.

Offensively, the team went 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12 runners. On the mound, Wainwright kept the Brewers to one hit in 10 opportunities with runners in scoring position, but he was hurt by allowing the leadoff man to reach in four of his seven innings.

"I get those guys [out], then those errors don't mean as much," Wainwright said. "You can point the blame all over the place. Usually, it stops with the pitchers."

Wainwright goes seven innings

Wong opened the game with his first error of the season, bobbling a grounder off the bat of Carlos Gomez. With one on and one out in the seventh, he then made a throw he shouldn't have on a ground ball to his right. Gomez, who had been on second, scored as the ball sailed past first baseman Matt Adams.

"That's a dumb throw," Wong said. "I was trying to do too much, trying to rush it. I didn't have a good grip, but I tried to throw it over there anyways. I saw I had some time and I figured if I just got it there, Matt could hopefully try and save me and make the play. But the ball I threw was a terrible ball."

It marked the first two-error game of Wong's career and the team's first multi-error game of the season. Brewers infielder Jean Segura also committed a pair of errors in the game.

"Kolten has looked very good this spring, so far, defensively and has had a lot of confidence," Matheny said. "He's a good defender. He just has to keep working. He's fine."

As for Heyward's blunder -- which didn't show up as such in the box score but is nevertheless a play the two-time Gold Glove winner says he should make -- the outfielder said his awkward attempt to snare Segura's fly ball in the second inning was the result of overrunning the ball and then losing his footing. Segura was credited with a double on the play.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.