Rasmus singles in 11th to lift Cards over Brewers
Aaron Miles hasn't felt like this since the 2008 season.
Colby Rasmus singled Miles home with the winning run in the 11th inning to lift the St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday.
"It felt spectacular," Miles said. "As I'm going around third, I'm thinking I'm scoring and here's a Cardinals' win and I helped contribute. That's a great feeling and why I look forward to coming to the ballpark every day."
Miles played three seasons with the Cardinals, helping them win the 2006 World Series in his first year with the club, before spending 2009 shifting between the Chicago Cubs and the minors. He was cut by Cincinnati before the start of this season. St. Louis picked him up, and after a stay in the Cardinals' system he returned to Busch Stadium on Tuesday.
He singled with one out in the 11th and advanced to second on Yadier Molina's base hit to center. Rasmus, who had three hits and three RBIs, laced a shot just in front of outfielder Jim Edmonds, who held on to the ball with Miles already around third.
"I didn't get it done in the bottom of the ninth," said Rasmus, who struck out looking to start the ninth. "I came up with another chance with some men on, so I was trying to give them all I had."
The Brewers failed to take advantage with two on and one out in the 11th. Edmonds opened the inning with a double before an error on Miles allowed George Kottaras to reach first. But Mitchell Boggs got Carlos Gomez to fly out, and Rickie Weeks grounded out to end the inning.
Boggs (1-2) pitched one inning to earn the victory, the fifth in six games and seventh in nine for the first-place Cardinals.
John Axford (1-1) took the loss.
Cardinals starter Adam Ottavino allowed a lead-off homer to Weeks, but he faced just one jam the rest of the way before being pulled after Ryan Braun singled to lead off the sixth. The rookie went five innings, allowed five hits and one walk, striking out two and leaving the game with a 4-1 lead. But Dennys Reyes allowed all three batters he faced to reach, including a single and double on the first two pitches.
Milwaukee pulled to 2-1 when Casey McGehee doubled in Braun. Kyle McClellan didn't give up any hits, but Cory Harts' grounder and a sacrifice fly by Kottaras tied the score at 4.
Aside from Reyes' struggles, the Cardinals' bullpen was stellar. The final five pitchers went six innings and allowed no hits, walked one and struck out six.
"He's come in several times behind me and picked me up," Boggs said. "We all had a job to do today. Fortunately we were able to keep it close enough to get the win there at the end."
Narveson struggled in the first, giving up four runs on three extra-base hits that included a two-run homer by Albert Pujols. It was his first home run at Busch Stadium in 93 at-bats, dating to the season opener. His second longest drought at Busch was 73 at-bats that spread over the 2001 and 2002 seasons. Rasmus drove in two more runs with a double for a 4-1 lead.
"You take the positive from every outing, whatever it is," Narveson said. "Obviously that last five (innings) is what I want to build off of. But that first inning you kind of have to prepare yourself for that and be ready for the top of the order and make pitches right away."
Narveson settled down from there, putting the Cardinals down in order in the second and giving up one walk in each of the next three innings. He gave up two more hits in the sixth. Narveson allowed five runs in six innings, struck out four and walked a season-high five.
NOTES: Cardinals 3B David Freese left the game with an ankle sprain after he awkwardly touched third base in the bottom of the sixth. He's listed day-to-day, but Cardinals manager Tony La Russa suspects he might miss at least three games. Miles, acquired from Double-A Springfield on Tuesday, took Freese's spot. ... Cardinals SS Brenden Ryan was scratched from the starting lineup about an hour before the game as a precautionary measure because of a slight groin injury. ... Weeks has three lead-off home runs this year and has 16 in his career.