Poor finish plagues Westbrooks outing - KMOV.com

Poor finish plagues Westbrooks outing

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By Scott Bierman By Scott Bierman

(BaseballStL) -- It has been a ‘no place like home’ kind of season for Jake Westbrook, who allows almost three fewer runs at Busch Stadium than he does on the road. But Miller Park in Milwaukee was looking like his second home if not for a couple of innings.

Carrying a 5.46 ERA on the road, Westbrook worked around a first inning two-out triple by Jonathan Lucroy and a walk to Aramis Ramirez. It was a morale boost considering he began the day with a 7.41 ERA in the opening inning.

The offense backed Westbrook, who received an average of 5.2 runs of support per start, with six runs scored in the second inning off Brewers starter Tom Gorzelanny for a 7-0 lead. It was Westbrook who started the scoring with a bases loaded double to drive in two runs. He would score two batters later when Carlos Beltran belted his 22nd home run of the year over the center field wall. It was also a familiar situation for Westbrook with the bases loaded at Miller Park. He hit his only home run, a grand slam, on August 31, 2011 in Milwaukee.

It wouldn’t be all pretty for the Cardinals starter. Westbrook fell into trouble in the third inning after the Brewers scored three runs on a home run by Ramirez, who was a career .583 (7-for-12) off the Cardinals righty at the start of play. It was Ramirez’s first home run and his seventh run batted in off Westbrook. The 35-year-old needed a double play and 21 pitches to get out of the inning.

After getting the first two outs on 9 pitches to start the fifth inning, the Brewers hit four consecutive singles to score two runs, and pull within two runs of the lead, against Westbrook. Manager Mike Matheny called upon Kevin Siegrist for the final out of the inning. Siegrist walked Logan Schafer to load the bases, but struck out pinch-hitter Jeff Bianchi to end the fifth.

Westbrook’s final line read: 4.2 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO (75 pitches thrown/48 strikes)

What started out to be a solid outing became unraveled in the third and fifth inning for Westbrook, but there is still some bright spots despite the mediocre results. Sixty-four percent of his pitches thrown were strikes -- the most since throwing 61-of-90 for strikes against the Philadelphia Phillies on July 24. After walking 15 batters over his last four starts, Westbrook walked only one on Wednesday.

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