Defensive miscues freeze Brewers

Defensive miscues freeze Brewers

MILWAUKEE -- In the box score, Junior Guerra's final line reads as 6 1/3 innings pitched and four runs allowed, but the Brewers right-hander's day could have ended better had a few bounces gone his way in the third inning of a 6-0 loss to the Cardinals on Memorial Day.

A series of defensive miscues aided a three-run Cardinals third inning that proved to be more than enough offensive support for starter Carlos Martinez, who carved up the Crew over eight scoreless innings.

"They were kind of woulda-coulda-shoulda plays, but certainly not routine plays," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "They way Martinez was pitching, we pretty much needed to make every play today."

After a Matt Carpenter single, Aledmys Diaz pounded a slow chopper to Hernan Perez at third base. Perez's throw to first baseman Chris Carter sailed wide, allowing Carpenter to take third base on an error.

Perez was then unable to come down with a scorching liner off the bat of Matt Holliday that scored Carpenter to put St. Louis up, 1-0. On the next batter, Alex Presley took an ineffective route to a Matt Adams fly ball to left field that wound up as an RBI double.

Adams' RBI double

"It was hit decent, it just kind of pushed a little bit," Presley said. "It's tough to tell the wind out there, because I feel like it's one way on the field and another way up in the swirl.

"Everything in that inning was this close. That one was a weird play. It pushed behind me just a tick, and I didn't have time to [turn around]. I thought I was going to catch it anyway. It was one of those where it was like, 'Come on. Catch that.'"

The third and final run in the inning came on a one-out passed ball on a swinging third strike. Guerra fanned Brandon Moss with a splitter, but catcher Jonathan Lucroy couldn't corral the pitch and it skidded to the backstop, allowing Holliday to score and Moss to reach.

Holliday scores on wild pitch

"Nothing can be perfect," Guerra said. "It's part of it. You play to win the game. Things aren't going to go perfect all the time."

A Cardinals error in the bottom half of the third helped give the Brewers a chance to get back in the game against Martinez, but nothing came of the opportunity. Shortstop Diaz threw wide on a Ramon Flores grounder to lead off the inning. Following a Jonathan Villar walk, the Brewers had the tying run at the plate, but Scooter Gennett and Lucroy were unable to drive in any runs.

Guerra picked up his first loss, and Milwaukee consequently lost its first game in which he started this season.

Curt Hogg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee.. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.