Gallardo struggles against Cards again
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ST. LOUIS (AP) Milwaukee starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo is well aware of his struggles against the St. Louis Cardinals.
He simply doesn't know how to correct the problem.
Gallardo's woes continued Friday night as he gave up eight earned runs in a two-inning stint during a 13-1 loss at St. Louis. Gallardo fell to 1-9 with a 7.05 ERA in 13 career regular-season starts against the Cardinals.
"He wasn't locating the ball at all," manager Ron Roenicke said. "Everything went wrong."
Gallardo (1-2) surrendered just four earned runs in three seven-inning starts prior to Friday's contest. But he gave up eight runs on seven hits in the third inning. He also gave up six earned runs in 3 2/3 innings of an 11-5 loss to St. Louis on April 6.
"In the two or three starts I had before tonight, I just went out there and pitched my game," Gallardo said. "I wasn't thinking about too much. Today, I tried to do everything. I tried to do a lot more than I am capable of."
Roenicke says the problem could be mental.
"Any time a team hits you like that, there are a lot of mental doubts," Roenicke said.
The St. Louis hitters gave Jake Westbrook plenty of offensive support this time around setting season highs for runs in an inning.
St. Louis won for the eighth time in its last 12. Milwaukee has lost three of five.
Westbrook (3-1) gave up seven hits, struck out five and did not walk a batter. He has allowed two earned runs or less in all four of his starts this season.
Westbrook, who lowered his ERA to 1.30, was not given much help in a 2-0 loss at Pittsburgh on Saturday. The Cardinals managed just five hits in being shutout for the second time this season. Westbrook gave up two runs on seven hits but suffered his first loss of the season.
The St. Louis hitters made up for that goose-egg in a big way Friday.
"The offense was huge for us, the runs helped a lot," Westbrook said. "I was able to throw strikes, get ahead of guys, keep the pitch count down and get deep in the game."
Jay and Matt Carpenter drove in two runs each in the third as the Cardinals sent 12 batters to the plate.
Carlos Beltran and David Freese drove in Jay and Holliday to start the eight-run outburst. Yadier Molina drew a walk and Carpenter ripped a 3-2 pitch off the center-field wall to push the lead to 6-1. Schumaker followed with a run-scoring hit and Jay added a two-run single. Holliday capped off the frame with a run-scoring single to right.
"We just go out there and have good at-bats," Jay said. "You just try and keep the line moving and that's why we've been able to do some things."
The eight-run outburst seemed to energize Westbrook. He allowed just three hits over four innings following the explosion.
St. Louis last scored eight runs in the fifth inning of a 13-5 win over Chicago on July 30, 2011.
The Cardinals have scored nine runs or more five times this season.
Schumaker, who has five hits in his last 12 at-bats, was happy to give Westbrook the necessary support.
"Luckily we gave him a little cushion," Schumaker said. "It seems like we're getting seven innings out of him every single time. He's on an incredible run. Hopefully it keeps going."
St. Louis pounded out 11 hits over the first three innings on the way to a 10-1 lead.
"All the way through the lineup guys really swung the bats well," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. "It was just a good offensive day. It was fun to watch."
"He's on a roll," Roenicke said of Westbrook. "He's throwing the ball down in the zone real well. He gets ground balls when he needs to."
St. Louis starting pitchers have recorded 12 wins the season, the highest total in both leagues.
NOTES: Milwaukee had given up the first run in its previous eight games before scoring in the top of the first Friday. ... Molina will be presented with his fourth consecutive Gold Glove award prior to Saturday's game. ... Kyle Lohse (3-0, 0.99 ERA) will face Milwaukee's Marco Estrada (0-0, 2.45) in the second game of the three-game set on Saturday. ... The Cardinals, who began a six-game homestand Friday, played 13 of their first 19 games on the road. ... Carpenter leads the Cardinals with 10 RBI at home. ... Ramirez has hit safely in his last five games.
Updated April 28, 2012