|The Brewers’ Casey McGehee belted three homers against St. Louis yesterday including this one in the third innning. (Jeffrey Phelps/Associated Press)|
3 McGehee blasts power Brewers
MILWAUKEE - Manager Ron Roenicke wants Casey McGehee to play a big role in the Brewers’ offense, not try to carry the club. McGehee did both yesterday.
The third baseman homered three times and Milwaukee rallied to beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 10-5, and add to its NL Central lead.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had three in a game ever. It’s something I’ll definitely remember. It was kind of one of those out-of-body experiences,’’ McGehee said. “It was nice, especially to be able to sit back and enjoy it that we were able to win the game.’’
McGehee hit go-ahead, two-run homers in the first and third innings and added a solo shot in the seventh to give Milwaukee its eighth win in nine games at Miller Park. Corey Hart also homered for the Brewers, who widened their lead over the Cardinals to 3 1/2 games in the division.
Rafael Furcal hit a three-run homer and drove in four runs off Randy Wolf (8-8) in his fourth game since being acquired Sunday in a trade with the Dodgers, but new Cardinals starter Edwin Jackson struggled.
Jackson (1-1) made his second start with St. Louis since being acquired in a three-team trade with the White Sox. He gave up 10 runs - eight earned - and allowed 14 hits over seven innings of extended work because of St. Louis’s worn-down bullpen following an 11-inning win Tuesday.
“We’re playing 20 in a row,’’ Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. “We needed to get as deep in his allotment today as he could. He took it for us. We appreciate it.’’
David Freese singled in a run to give St. Louis a 1-0 lead in the first. Hart homered to start the bottom of the inning and McGehee hit a two-out, two-run home run to make it 3-1.
Furcal’s three-run homer - his first as a Cardinal - gave St. Louis a 4-3 lead in the second, but McGehee answered again with another two-run homer in the third to put Milwaukee ahead for good, 5-4. McGehee’s second homer was hit so hard that left fielder Matt Holliday never moved to try and chase it.
Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina cost St. Louis two unearned runs when Ryan Braun scored on a passed ball in the fifth, and George Kottaras scored from third to make it 9-5 after Molina threw a ball into center field trying to catch Hart stealing in the sixth.
McGehee followed with a solo shot in the seventh for the final margin and came out for a curtain call. The third baseman appears to be breaking out of his season-long slump.
“He puts more on himself than maybe he should. He’s not the guy that’s going to carry this team,’’ Roenicke said. “He’s a huge part in that offense and I don’t ever want him thinking if he’s not doing his part, that’s the reason why we’re not winning because he’s big for us, but so are a lot of other guys.’’
“We’ve got a lot of baseball left, by no means, no matter what happened in this series was going to be the nail in the coffin either way,’’ McGehee said.
Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols played after being hit by a pitch Tuesday near where he broke his left wrist earlier this season. He finished 0 for 5 with two strikeouts.