Lineup's myriad of missed chances stand out in loss

Cards match season-high 13 hits, leave 14 runners on base

Lineup's myriad of missed chances stand out in loss

MILWAUKEE -- The Cardinals matched their season high with 13 hits against the Brewers on Sunday, yet, just as they did the last time they reached that mark, they were unable to parlay the parade of baserunners into a win.

St. Louis dropped its series finale in Milwaukee, 6-3, while stranding 14 runners on base and wasting myriad opportunities with runners in scoring position. Several of those came early, too, with the Cardinals leaving two aboard in the first and the bases full in each of the next two innings against Brewers starter Mike Fiers.

"We had him on the ropes, had him on the ropes," said Heyward, whose groundout ended the first of those bases-loaded chances. "It's just one of those days where it doesn't happen. … It kind of got away from us."

The team's best opportunity to score came in the third, which opened with a walk to Jhonny Peralta and a single by Matt Adams. After Mark Reynolds swung through a strike-three fastball, Kolten Wong moved both runners up with a single to right.

But Fiers' subsequent strikeouts of Peter Bourjos and Tony Cruz -- both making spot starts -- wasted that threat.

"You have to put something across there," manager Mike Matheny said. "That's all there is to it. … We had good opportunities to score here. When you get guys on third base, bases loaded at one point with one out, you have to push something across."

Matheny differentiated between Sunday's missed opportunities and those in a loss to Washington on Tuesday, the first time the Cardinals tallied 13 hits in a game. In that matchup, the Cardinals produced most of their rallies with two outs. This time there were chances to feast, especially as the team pushed Fiers' pitch count to 71 in three innings.

The commonality between the two losses, of course, is that Lance Lynn started both for St. Louis. He wasn't nearly as sharp on Sunday, letting the Brewers pound him for six extra-base hits. The Cardinals, in contrast, had just two, one of which was crushed an estimated 451 feet by Reynolds. Reynolds' four other at-bats weren't nearly as fruitful.

"I left a small village on base," he said.

To be precise, he left six.

Missed offensive opportunities have been behind each of the team's last three losses. In those games, the Cardinals have combined to leave 39 runners on base. The team is hitting .223 with runners in scoring position this year.

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.