Milwaukee will look for right-hander Adrian Houser to continue his mastery of the St. Louis Cardinals as the host Brewers attempt to bounce back Saturday night in the third game of a four-game series.
Houser (0-1, 4.91 ERA) was dominant against the Cardinals last season, going 3-0 with an 0.36 ERA in four starts, giving up one earned run in 25 innings. Left-hander Steven Matz (0-1, 21.00) will start for St. Louis.
The Cardinals ended Milwaukee’s winning streak at three games Friday night, jumping on Freddy Peralta for six runs in the first two innings en route to a 10-1 victory.
St. Louis starter Miles Mikolas allowed just a single and walk through six innings before giving up two singles and a run in the seventh. The Cardinals also pounded out 14 hits, including two-run homers by Tommy Edman and Nolan Arenado.
In his first start this season, Houser allowed two runs on four hits with three walks in 3 2/3 innings in a 2-0 loss at Baltimore on Monday. Houser is 4-2 with a 2.33 ERA in 11 career appearances against St. Louis, including eight starts.
“It all starts there, with command,” Houser said after his first start. “I didn’t establish the zone early. I wasn’t able to get ahead in the count early, and it just fell apart from there. I need to hammer down on that these next few days and get it going for the next start.”
Matz was tagged for seven runs on nine hits in three innings in his first start, a 9-4 loss against the Pirates last Sunday. He threw two scoreless innings, then allowed a third-inning grand slam.
“That inning that got away from him, there were three or four first-pitch hits,” said Cardinals bench coach Skip Schumaker, who filled in that day for ailing manager Oliver Marmol. “You could see that they were aggressive and maybe a couple balls left up, a couple good pitches that were hits, and then the grand slam, obviously.”
Matz is 4-2 with a 3.41 ERA in six career starts against Milwaukee, but he has not faced the Brewers since 2019 when he was with the New York Mets.
The Cardinals have outscored opponents 12-2 in the first inning.
“When our leadoff guy is getting his third at-bat before their nine hitter gets their first, I’m in on that,” Marmol said.
Relievers Jose Urena and Hoby Milner pitched five innings after Peralta’s early exit, allowing the Brewers to rest their three back-end relievers — Brad Boxberger, Devin Williams and Josh Hader — for the second straight game. Hader, who received his National League Reliever of the Year Award before Friday’s game, needs one more save to reach 100.
“Those two guys (Urena and Milner) kept our bullpen kind of in order for tomorrow, which was important,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said.
Brent Suter gave up Arenado’s two-run homer in the ninth, then came out after crashing hard into the railing and netting in front of the Cardinals’ dugout chasing after a pop foul.
Although he was down for several minutes, Suter lobbied to remain in the game and said afterward that he was fine.
“It could have been a lot, lot worse,” Suter said. “I was just trying to get that out, just trying to get the game over with. I probably just went too hard at it. But I really thought I could make the play.”
Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich struck out four times Friday, giving him 11 strikeouts in 27 at-bats.
In addition to scoring just one run Friday, the Brewers have been shut out twice in their first eight games.
–Field Level Media