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Brewers offense awakens in loss
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 4      3   Final
09/11/2002 11:53 pm ET 
 Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
 Cardinals 0 1 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 4 10 0
 Brewers 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 3 9 1
Brewers offense awakens in loss
Club makes mistakes, though, as Cards sweep
By Adam McCalvy /

MILWAUKEE -- Miller Park was enveloped in a quiet sadness after ceremonies marking the one-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

That's just how Jerry Royster, the Brewers manager, usually able to find a diamond even in the deepest rough, appeared after his club notched loss No. 95 on Wednesday. It was a 4-3 loss to the Cardinals before 16,907 fans that capped a series sweep.

"We're playing like clowns," Royster said in a quiet rant dotted with expletives. "It's ridiculous to play a game like that, and lose by one run to the best team in the division. It's pathetic and I'm tired of looking at it. It's pathetic.

"That's a terrible, terrible game right there and it's 4-3. Mistake, after mistake, after mistake. Seven mistakes in seven innings. It's ridiculous. Don't move guys over, don't move guys in, don't do [anything]. We did nothing. I'm just tired of looking at it. And every day it's the same thing. It's the same thing.

"We play halfway decent we win the game. If we make four mistakes instead of seven we win the game. It's not a good game, period."

With the score tied, 3-3 in the seventh, Cardinals pinch-hitter Miguel Cairo blooped Brewers reliever Ray King's first pitch just over the outstretched glove of second baseman Ronnie Belliard to score the game-winning run.

It was just the kind of hit that has eluded the Brewers during their four-game losing streak. They were 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position Wednesday, but in the last four games the Brewers are batting .132 (5-for-38) in that situation.

"This game will make you psycho if you let it," said outfielder Ryan Thompson, who hit an infield pop-up with runners at first and second and one out in the sixth inning.

All four runs were charged to starter Ben Sheets (9-16), who pitched six innings and allowed six innings on eight hits, including Mike Matheny's key leadoff triple in the seventh that put him in position to score the game-winner. Sheets' 16th loss tied him with Tampa Bay's Tanyon Sturtze for most in the Majors.

Cardinals starter Andy Benes allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings, and Jeff Fassero (7-6) got the win with 2/3 inning of scoreless relief. Jason Isringhausen earned his 29th save.

"I hope you guys didn't see anything good," Royster told reporters before ending his postgame address. "Because there's nothing good about that."

The rest of the game was so bad Royster forgot to mention a pair of nice defensive plays by Richie Sexson, who was 1-for-3 at the plate.

With Fernando Vina on first after a leadoff single in the first inning, J.D. Drew smashed a hard grounder between first and second base. Sexson dove to his right to snare the baseball, then lunged at Vina for out No. 1.

With Drew charging down the baseline, Sexson half-crawled, half-dove back to the bag and tagged it with his glove. It sounds rare -- the "grounded into unassisted double play." But a check with the Elias Sports Bureau revealed Boston shortstop Nomar Garciaparra turned one Tuesday night.

Sexson turned a more conventional unassisted DP the sixth. With Jim Edmonds at first after a one-out walk and the Cardinals leading, 3-1, Albert Pujols rocketed a line drive to Sexson. He caught it and stepped on first for the inning-ending double play.

It finally jump-started the offense, but the rally fizzled with an ugly play on the bases.

Jose Hernandez led off the bottom of the fifth with Milwaukee's third hit of the night and moved to third on Jim Rushford's single. Catcher Jorge Fabregas, whose RBI double in the third inning knotted the game, 1-1, hit a deep sacrifice fly to right field. Eric Young followed with an RBI single to tie the game again.

But Young and the Brewers ran out of a scoring opportunity, and Young left the game with a mild strain to his right hip flexor.

Young was at second and Keith Ginter was at first when Jeffrey Hammonds singled to left field. Young took a wide turn around third and pulled up, but Ginter, expecting Young to go home, strayed too far off second base. Catcher Mike Matheny threw to Vina at second, who threw back home to catch Young and end the inning.

Young is day-to-day.

Adam McCalvy covers the Brewers for This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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St Louis Cardinals 4, Milwaukee Brewers 3
St Louis Cardinals
Vina2B 5010012.269
DrewRF 3000011.262
c-MarreroPH-RF 1010000.255
EdmondsCF 3010102.300
PujolsLF 4010012.313
Rolen3B 4000012.262
Martinez1B 4221000.266
RenteriaSS 3111100.303
MathenyC 3121101.237
BenesP 2000021.233
FasseroP 0000000.333
a-CruzPH 0000000.250
b-CairoPH 1011000.245
VeresP 0000000.333
KlineP 0000000.000
d-RobinsonPH 1000001.256
IsringhausenP 0000000.000
a-Batted for Fassero in the 7th. b-Singled for Cruz in the 7th. c-Singled for Drew in the 7th. d-Flied out for Kline in the 9th.
2B: Renteria (32, Sheets).
3B: Matheny (1, Sheets).
HR: Martinez (18, 2nd inning off Sheets, 0 on, 1 out).
RBI: Martinez (67), Renteria (71), Matheny (31), Cairo (19).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Rolen.
GIDP: Drew, Edmonds.
Team LOB: 6.
CS: Matheny (3, 2nd base by Sheets/Fabregas).
Outfield assists: Pujols (Young at home).
DP: (Renteria-Vina-Martinez).
Pickoffs: Matheny (Stairs at 1st base).
Milwaukee Brewers
Young2B 3021001.282
Belliard2B 1000001.222
Ginter3B 3000123.292
HammondsCF 4010001.267
Sexson1B 4010010.284
StairsLF 3010001.248
HernandezSS 3110102.287
RushfordRF 1210100.174
a-ThompsonPH-RF 2000002.237
FabregasC 1012000.195
b-MachadoPH-C 2000002.272
SheetsP 1000001.095
KingP 0000000.000
c-HarrisPH 1010000.319
1-HallPR 0000000.222
VizcainoP 0000000.000
DeJeanP 0000000.000
d-BakoPH 1000000.234
a-Popped out for Rushford in the 6th. b-Grounded out for Fabregas in the 6th. c-Singled for King in the 7th. d-Grounded out for DeJean in the 9th.
1-Ran for Harris in the 7th.
2B: Fabregas (3, Benes), Sexson (33, Benes).
RBI: Fabregas 2 (20), Young (28).
2-out RBI: Young.
S: Sheets.
SF: Fabregas.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Machado.
GIDP: Hernandez.
Team LOB: 6.
SB: Young (31, 2nd base off Benes/Matheny).
CS: Young (11, 2nd base by Benes/Matheny).
PO: Stairs (1st base by Matheny).
E: Sexson (6, fielding).
DP: 3 (Sexson 2, Belliard-Hernandez-Sexson).
St Louis Cardinals
Benes 5.17333203.30
Fassero (W, 7-6) 0.20000005.46
Veres (H, 14) 1.11000103.22
Kline (H, 18) 0.21000003.96
Isringhausen (S, 29) 1.00000002.39
Milwaukee Brewers
Sheets (L, 9-16) 6.08442514.41
King 1.02000002.82
Vizcaino 1.00000002.42
DeJean 1.00001103.41
Sheets pitched to 1 batter in the 7th.

HBP: Stairs (by Benes).
Pitches-strikes: Benes 88-50, Fassero 10-7, Veres 19-14, Kline 9-4, Isringhausen 7-6, Sheets 100-63, King 15-10, Vizcaino 12-7, DeJean 20-15.
Ground outs-fly outs: Benes 5-6, Fassero 1-1, Veres 2-1, Kline 2-0, Isringhausen 1-2, Sheets 4-8, King 2-1, Vizcaino 1-2, DeJean 0-2.
Batters faced: Benes 24, Fassero 2, Veres 5, Kline 2, Isringhausen 3, Sheets 26, King 4, Vizcaino 3, DeJean 4.
Inherited runners-scored: Fassero 2-0, King 1-1.
Umpires: HP: Rob Drake. 1B: Alfonso Marquez. 2B: Tim Welke. 3B: Brian O'Nora.
Weather: 68 degrees, clear.
Wind: 0 mph, None.
T: 3:10.
Att: 16,907.

Box score official statistics approved by Major League Baseball and the Office of the Commissioner