MILWAUKEE (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals lamented a multitude of missed opportunities in a series-ending loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.
They were more concerned, of course, with the status of ace Adam Wainwright.
St. Louis got 13 hits, but stranded a season-high 14 runners, including eight in the first three innings in a 6-3 defeat Sunday.
Now, the focus turns Wainwright, who is scheduled for an MRI on Monday to see how long his injured Achilles and left ankle will sideline him — there is speculation he could miss the rest of the season.
“There’s nothing I can do about it, so might as well not be nervous about it or worried about it,” said Wainwright, who was wearing a protective boot on his left ankle Sunday. “Worry doesn’t do anybody any good.”
St. Louis, which had won nine of 10, had two runners on in the first inning and loaded the bases in both the second and third against Mike Fiers, who allowed two grand slams in his previous start. But the Cardinals came away empty and never recovered.
“We had good opportunities to score here,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. “When you get guys on third base, bases loaded at one point with one out, you’ve got to push something across, just start chipping away.”
The Brewers, who won for just the second time in 12 games, took a 3-0 lead in third off Lance Lynn (0-3), who was tagged for six runs on 10 hits in five innings.
Logan Schafer reached on infield single that bounced off the back of Lynn and Gerardo Parra tripled. Cardinals right fielder Jason Heyward appeared to stumble on Parra’s hit and left the game with left groin tightness, and was listed as day to day.
Adam Lind followed with his third homer.
“I didn’t get the job done, plain and simple. I’ve got to be better than that,” Lynn said. “It’s just get people out when it’s time to get them out and I wasn’t able to do it when I was supposed to today.”
The Cardinals got a run back in the fourth when Jon Jay, who replaced Heyward, singled with two outs. Jay moved up when Lind mishandled a pickoff throw and scored on Jhonny Peralta’s single.
Mark Reynolds, who played last season for Milwaukee, cut the lead to 3-2 with his first home run to lead off the fifth, chasing Fiers.
“I had to battle today. I do not think a lot of things went my way,” Fiers said. “I made some big pitches when it really mattered and got out of some tough innings with the bases loaded.”
The Brewers scored three times in the bottom half on doubles by Parra, Khris Davis and Elian Herrera, and an RBI single by Hector Gomez.
Milwaukee, off to the worst start in team history, improved to 4-15. Every other team in the majors has at least six wins.
Catcher Cody Stanley, called up from Triple-A to take Wainwright’s roster spot, made his major league debut as a pinch hitter to lead off the eighth and singled against Jonathan Broxton. He later scored on Matt Adams’ bases-loaded grounder.
“It was a good at-bat, too, against a good setup guy with good stuff,” Matheny said. “And, it was able to get us one run closer to where we needed to be. Just a good first day for him.”
Cardinals: C Yadier Molina was out of the lineup for the second straight day as he recovers from getting hit by a foul tip on Friday. “He’s feeling better, even though we just need to go ahead and take at least another day,” Matheny said. “He can hit, he can run, but squatting is the major issue right now.”
Heyward said he felt something grab when he turned to make his throw after fielding Parra’s triple. “When I tried to throw the ball, that’s when I felt it. When I tried to set my back foot and throw, that’s when it grabbed.”
Heyward said coming out of the game was precautionary and his availability on Monday would be up to the training staff.
Cardinals: RHP John Lackey gets the start as the Cards return home for a four-game series against Philadelphia after a six-game road trip. He is 1-0 with a 4.34 ERA in three starts.
REYNOLDS SCARE: After already losing Wainwright, Molina and Heyward in the series, it looked as if the Cardinals could lose another player when Reynolds making his first career start in left field and crashed into the wall making a running catch of Parra’s leadoff fly in the seventh. Matheny and a trainer went out to check on Reynolds, who was down on the ground for several seconds after the collision.
“Making sure he was OK,” Matheny said. “I didn’t know if he had a busted beak or what, once I got out there. I mean he hit it head first. I wanted to just kind of see what the trainers saw, see what he was saying. He just kind of needed to clear his head for a second. He came in, they did a quick test before he got up there for his last at-bat and he passed everything clear.”
Reynolds stayed in the game.
Stanley didn’t have much time to spare after being told Saturday night that he was being called up. He said he arrived at the stadium at 11:30 a.m. with the game scheduled to start at 1:10 p.m. “Came to straight to the field, got dressed and went out,” he said. “It’s an indescribable feeling, for sure.”
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