Arenado hits 300th homer as Cardinals blank Brewers 6-0
MILWAUKEE - Nolan Arenado joined an exclusive fraternity as the St. Louis Cardinals broke out of their slump and cooled off the Milwaukee Brewers.
Arenado hit his 300th career homer, Jordan Walker also went deep and the St. Louis Cardinals won 6-0 at Milwaukee on Saturday night to end their four-game skid and snap the Brewers’ six-game winning streak.
After fouling off a long drive in the first inning, Arenado reached his milestone in his next trip to the plate with a ball that went in a similar spot but stayed to the right of the left-field foul pole.
“I’m happy to do it in a team win, which is great,” Arenado said. “Obviously I hit that first one just foul. I was happy to keep that one fair.”
Arenado won his 10th straight Gold Glove at third base last season. The only other players in MLB history to have at least 300 homers and 10 Gold Gloves are Johnny Bench, Ken Griffey Jr., Andruw Jones, Al Kaline, Willie Mays, Ivan Rodriguez and Mike Schmidt.
The seven-time All-Star entered this season with 299 homers but hadn’t added to that total through the first seven games of the season. Although he entered Saturday batting .333, Arenado was frustrated with his performance.
He started feeling better in his last couple of batting practices. The results were evident Saturday.
“There’s this feeling I want to find, and I feel like I’m getting closer to that, and I’m just trying to kind of find it more consistently,” Arenado said. “It’s frustrating when you don’t find it. Listen, it’s a long season. I’m just trying to battle right now. I know there’s a good feeling there. Hopefully it comes soon. Today was a great start.”
The Cardinals entered Saturday with a four-game skid in which they’d totaled just seven runs and had never led, but they wasted no time getting ahead against Brewers starter Eric Lauer (1-1).
Arenado and Walker hit two-run shots of Lauer in the third inning to give the Cardinals a 6-0 advantage. Jordan Montgomery (2-0) made it stand by striking out nine and allowing three hits and two walks in seven shutout innings.
Walker’s homer was the second of his career. His first came Wednesday against Atlanta’s Michael Tonkin.
Walker, who doesn’t turn 21 until May 22, has begun his career with an eight-game hitting streak. Walker went 2 for 3 on Saturday to improve his batting average to .355.
“He’s just taken a quality at-bat every time,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “He’s not giving away at-bats. It’s been good. It’s been really good. And the thing is, he’s doing it on the fastball. He’s doing it off of spin. It’s been pretty legit.”
Brewers rookie Joey Wiemer doubled in the third inning to extend his own hitting streak to seven games. That matches the Brewers’ record B.J. Surhoff set in 1987 for the longest hitting streak to start a career.
But the Brewers didn’t do much else against Montgomery.
The Brewers left the bases loaded in the third and eighth innings. Christian Yelich grounded to second for the final out of the third, and Zack Thompson struck out Luke Voit to end the eighth.
Lauer gave up six runs, seven hits and three walks in just four innings. He struck out four.
“I felt like I got to a lot of good counts, and then I just didn’t finish the at-bat,” Lauer said. “I had a lot of 0-2, 1-2 opportunities, and they ended up getting deeper into the count or getting a hit off of it. That’s what I’ve got to be better at.”
Cardinals: LHP Packy Naughton went on the 15-day injured list and underwent an MRI for a left forearm strain. The issue had caused Naughton to leave after facing three batters in the Cardinals’ 4-0 loss to the Brewers on Friday. The Cardinals called up LHP Génesis Cabrera from Triple-A Memphis.
Brewers: RHP Adrian Houser threw a bullpen session and will head to Triple-A Nashville on Sunday as he continues his recovery from a right groin strain.
RHP Jake Woodford (0-1, 12.46 ERA) starts for the Cardinals and RHP Freddy Peralta (1-0, 0.00) pitches for the Brewers as this three-game series concludes Sunday afternoon.