Pujols beaned, Molina tossed as Cards beat Brewers in 11
St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols reacts after being hit by a pitch during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash) By Morry Gash
St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols is hit in the hand by a pitch during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash) By Morry Gash
St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina argues with home plate umpire Rob Drake after being called out on strikes during the 10th inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash) By Morry Gash
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Lance Berkman singled in Matt Holliday with two out in the 11th inning and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 8-7 on Tuesday in a matchup of NL Central contenders that turned testy as the night wore on.
Sluggers Albert Pujols of the Cardinals and Ryan Braun each were hit by a pitch in the seventh, and Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina became so incensed after he was ejected in the 10th that plate umpire Rob Drake had to wipe his face during the argument.
St. Louis’ first win at Miller Park in five tries this season snapped Milwaukee’s seven-game winning streak and trimmed the Brewers’ NL Central lead to 2 1-2 games.
Holliday sparked the Cardinals’ winning rally by beating a grounder to shortstop with two out. Holliday then swiped second for his first stolen base of the season and scored when Berkman hit a shallow flare to left against Marco Estrada (2-7).
Kyle McClellan (8-6) allowed a one-out single to Casey McGehee in the 11th, but earned the victory after Octavio Dotel got the final two outs for his first save in the NL this year and second this season.
Takashi Saito loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh after he hit Pujols on the left wrist that the slugger broke earlier this season. Holliday, who had homered in the second, followed with a double-play grounder that scored newcomer Rafael Furcal and tied it at 7. Berkman then grounded out to end the threat.
Tempers began to flare in the bottom of the inning after Jason Motte plunked Braun with a 97 mph fastball.
Drake warned both sides, but didn’t eject anyone as Molina walked Braun down to first. Fielder moved forward from the on-deck circle, telling his teammates to stay back to keep the situation from escalating.
Motte was removed for Marc Rzepczynski, who walked Fielder. Lance Lynn allowed an infield hit to McGehee. Yuniesky Betancourt popped up harmlessly, Jonathan Lucroy hit into a fielder’s choice to third baseman Daniel Descalso, who cut down Braun at home, and pinch-hitter Mark Kotsay struck out.
St. Louis loaded the bases with one out in the eighth but Francisco Rodriguez got Furcal to hit into a fielder’s choice and struck out pinch-hitter Ryan Theriot. The excitable K-Rod shouted and pumped his fist, then blew a kiss to the sky as he walked off the mound. Theriot glared at him during the extended celebration.
Both teams had runners on in the ninth and shortstop Furcal saved the game with an over-the-shoulder catch with two on and two outs.
Drake tossed Molina for arguing a called third strike and the All-Star appeared to hit the umpire with spittle during his tirade. He had to be restrained by Descalso.
Milwaukee held a 3-1 lead before St. Louis scored five times in the fourth against Shaun Marcum, capped when Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia hit a three-run shot for his first career homer. Garcia entered batting .068 this season.
The Brewers answered with four unearned runs in the fifth on a rally that started after an errant throw by Skip Schumaker at second and ended when Betancourt’s three-run homer put Milwaukee ahead 7-6, setting up the wild final innings.
NOTES: The Cardinals filed a complaint with the umpiring crew about the thin LED boards that surround Miller Park’s second level, creating different lighting situations in Monday night’s game, but would not discuss the matter further. Brewers general manager Doug Melvin also declined comment. ... Brewers LHP Randy Wolf (7-8, 3.44 ERA) will face Cardinals RHP Edwin Jackson (1-0, 1.29 ERA) in Wednesday’s series finale. ... Wolf has four consecutive quality starts, but only one win in the stretch. ... Jackson was traded from Chicago last week as part of a three-team trade that sent Colby Rasmus to the Blue Jays.
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