Gallardo’s struggles continue

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Associated Press
Saturday, April 28, 2012
— The St. Louis hitters gave starting pitcher Jake Westbrook plenty of offensive support this time around.

The Cardinals set season highs for runs in an inning and in a game Friday night in rolling to a

13-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

St. Louis scored eight runs in the third inning to win 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.

Milwaukee starter Yovani Gallardo (1-2) continued to struggle against the Cardinals. He gave up eight earned runs in two innings, and lost for the ninth time in 10 regular-season starts against St. Louis. He has a 7.05 ERA in 13 starts against the Cardinals and has given up eight earned runs twice.

Gallardo allowed just four earned runs in three seven-inning efforts prior to Friday. But he gave up six earned runs in an 11-5 loss to St. Louis on April 6, then things got worse Friday.

“In the two or three starts I had before tonight, I just went out there and pitched my game, I wasn’t thinking about too much,” Gallardo said. “Today, I tried to do everything. I tried to do a lot more than I am capable of.”

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.”

Jon Jay had three hits and drove in three runs to pace a 15-hit attack. Skip Schumaker added two hits and three RBIs, and Matt Holliday had three hits and knocked in a pair.

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 Cardinals’ 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 inning with a run-scoring single to right.

St. Louis last scored eight runs in the fifth inning of a

13-5 win over Chicago on July 30, 2011.

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.”

Milwaukee jumped to a 1-0 lead on successive singles by Nyjer Morgan, Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez in the first. Westbrook then got Corey Hart to ground into an inning-ending double play.

“He’s on a roll,” Milwaukee manager Ron 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 this season, the highest total in both leagues.

Last updated: 8:03 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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