MILWAUKEE — Matt Carpenter rounded the bases after his two-run shot, looked up and pointed two fingers toward the night sky as he touched the plate.
It was a rather meaningless homer in terms of the game, extending a big lead for the St. Louis Cardinals in what ended up being a 10-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday.
It meant so much more for what it would cost Carpenter. The Galveston, Texas native followed through in his first game after pledging $10,000 for every home run that he hit the rest of the season to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
“I was kind of nervous about the expectations,” Carpenter said. “To be able to do it the first night, get one out of the way and see that money go for a good cause, I’m glad I was able to do that.”
Teammate Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals organization also have pledged to match Carpenter’s long-ball donations for hurricane relief efforts. So that fifth-inning drive off a 1-1 pitch from Carlos Torres meant a total pledge of $30,000 to aid flood victims.
“Happy to see him write that check. Hope he keeps doing it every night,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.
St. Louis chased Matt Garza (6-8) with one out in the fourth. The right-hander walked five and allowed six runs, though only three were earned after the Brewers committed two errors in the third.
“The third inning we could have minimized that damage, but obviously defensively not getting those outs gave them some extra chances,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said.
The loss dropped the second-place Brewers to 3 1/2 games back of the NL Central-leading Cubs, who won on Tuesday. The Cardinals remained in third, five games back of Chicago.
Cardinals: Luke Weaver (3-1) gave up a solo homer to Eric Thames in the bottom of the third. The 24 year-old right-hander otherwise had another solid outing against the Brewers, striking out 10 while allowing two runs over 5 2/3 innings. Weaver has a 3.00 ERA in four career starts versus Milwaukee, with 36 strikeouts in 24 innings.
Brewers: Garza’s ERA in August climbed to 7.67, and he walked five for the second time in four starts. Asked if Garza would take his next scheduled start on Sunday, Counsell said: “Right now that is what we are doing, yeah.”
Teams can expand rosters starting Friday, so it’s possible Milwaukee could turn to a minor league call-up as well.
SAFE AND SOUND
Matheny said his sons were safe after their apartments were flooded in San Jacinto, Texas. Jake and Luke Matheny transferred to San Jacinto College this month to play baseball. Mike Matheny said his sons had just moved into their off-campus apartments in San Jacinto, which is a suburb of Houston, about a week before Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas coast. The Cardinals skipper said they have been staying the last few days with teammates living in a third-floor apartment.
“There’s no such thing as a non-big series or a non-big game. … You can’t force your way to good games. That’s just the way it goes sometimes, and you move on to tomorrow.” _ outfielder Ryan Braun on losing to the Cardinals after the Brewers took two of three games on the road against the powerhouse Los Angeles Dodgers.
Cardinals: C Yadier Molina was a late scratch because of right lower abdominal soreness. “I didn’t know anything about it but it didn’t seem like he was too worried about it. We’ll see how he shows up tomorrow morning,” Matheny said.
Brewers: C Andrew Susac (upper back) and LHP Brent Suter (rotator cuff) are expected to come off the 10-day disabled list when rosters expand to 40 players on Friday. Both players are scheduled to make rehab appearances this week at Class A Wisconsin. … C Manny Pina left after the top of the fourth after scrambling for a pitch that got away in the dirt. He said it felt like he had been pinched in the hip when he went down to block the ball.
Cardinals: Right-handed ace Carlos Martinez (10-9) takes the mound needing nine strikeouts to match his career-high 184 from 2015.
Brewers: Chase Anderson (7-3) looks for his first win in seven career starts against St. Louis. He is 0-2 with a 2.70 ERA versus the Cardinals, including no-decisions in two starts this season.