ST. LOUIS -- Since the start of the 2008 season, only one opponent has been tougher than the Brewers on the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. The Rockies are 5-2 here, a .714 winning percentage. Following Wednesday's 3-2 win, the Brewers are 18-9, a .667 winning clip.The only other team with a winning record at Busch Stadium over that span is the Giants, who are 4-3. The Cardinals have won at least 57 percent of their home games in each of the past three seasons.
You try to figure it out."You get those statistical anomalies all the time," Brewers manager Ken Macha said. "All the stats come out and then you look at them and ask, 'Why?' If we had the answers, Tony [La Russa, the Cardinals' veteran manager] would get that straightened out." Wednesday marked Milwaukee's final visit in 2010, though the teams will meet again. The Cardinals will be at Miller Park from Sept. 6-8.
Kid gloves come off, and Escobar, Cain excel
ST. LOUIS -- With right-hander Adam Wainwright on the mound Wednesday for the Cardinals, center fielder Lorenzo Cain didn't expect to see his name in the Brewers' lineup.
When the rookie saw his name in the lineup, his excitement for the series finale increased significantly.
"I saw I was in the lineup, and I was like, 'Wow, I'm facing Wainwright,'" Cain said after Milwaukee's 3-2 win. "I got excited for that and just tried to go up there and get the job done.
"My first ace, and I was able to put together a few good at-bats and get some hits."
Entering the game, right-handed hitters had been hitting .202 off Wainwright, compared to a .214 mark for lefties. Cain went 2-for-3 on the day, with a leadoff double in the fifth and an RBI triple in the seventh inning.
Cain followed his double with a steal of third base, which proved crucial when he scored on a soft grounder back to the pitcher by George Kottaras. After the triple, Cain scored the eventual game-winning run on an Alcides Escobar sacrifice fly.
Even Cain's second-inning out was hit hard, as Wainwright snagged a liner back to the mound before doubling off Prince Fielder at first to end the inning.
"He has got some talent. No doubt," Wainwright said of Cain. "I thought I made a good pitch, and he drove it to the right-center gap. Put a good swing on it.
Along with Cain, fellow rookie Escobar was in the lineup for the Brewers on Wednesday, despite having struggled against Wainwright. Making the move more surprising was the success veteran infielder Craig Counsell had against Wainwright in his career.
Counsell entered Wednesday's series finale at Busch Stadium with a .304 (7-for-23) batting average against the Cardinals right-hander. Escobar, on the other hand, was hitting just .167 (2-for-12) against Wainwright.
Escobar's day didn't go quite as well as it did for Cain, but was still successful, as the rookie shortstop finished 0-for-1 with a strikeout and the game-winning sacrifice fly. More significantly, though, Escobar left the game in the ninth with cramps in his hamstring.
After hustling to catch a throw from Corey Hart in right field, Escobar's day was done.
"I walked to the mound, and I said, 'Hey, [John] Axford, give me a minute, I can't move my leg,'" Escobar said. "I'll be OK. With the day off tomorrow, I'll be OK on Friday."
"I was just glad that [Escobar's injury] wasn't too bad," Axford said. "When he came up to the mound then, I wasn't too sure what was going on. I asked him if he was OK, and he said, 'No,' so I didn't really know what was going on."
According to manager Ken Macha, the idea of putting Cain and Escobar in the lineup had more to do with the future of the club and the development of the two rookies than trying to win the two-game series from the Cardinals.
Considering the two accounted for all three runs on the day against Wainwright, the initial results were promising for the Brewers.
"Sooner or later, if they're going to be your everyday guys, they're going to have to get in there," Macha said. "You can't protect them the whole time."
Brewers mulling Gomez options
ST. LOUIS -- Carlos Gomez collected another hit and run scored on his rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday night and was eligible for reinstatement from the Brewers' disabled list beginning Wednesday. He might return as early as Friday, but team officials are also considering spending one of Gomez's two remaining Minor League options to keep the player in Nashville until Major League rosters expand in September.The Brewers were hoping for a breakthrough season from Gomez when they traded shortstop J.J. Hardy to the Twins for the speedy center fielder in November. They did not get it; Gomez is batting .228 in the Majors this year, with 63 strikeouts and five home runs in 246 at-bats. His .286 on-base percentage prompted manager Ken Macha to drop him from second in the batting order to the lower third. Gomez was struck in the head by a pitch on Aug. 3 in Chicago and said he felt no symptoms of a concussion, but the Brewers placed him on the DL three days later as a precaution. Gomez's absence has opened an opportunity for 24-year-old Lorenzo Cain, who entered Wednesday's start against Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals batting .364 in his first 12 Major League games. In the first five games of his rehab stint at Nashville, Gomez was batting .300 (6-for-20) with three runs scored, two RBIs, three walks and six strikeouts.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com, and Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.