Steven Matz took a shutout into the sixth inning to outduel Adrian Houser and the St. Louis Cardinals held on for a 2-1 victory over the host Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday night.
The Cardinals capitalized on two walks for a run off Houser in the fourth and added a run against the bullpen in the eighth on an RBI single by Corey Dickerson.
Victor Caratini, acquired from San Diego on April 6, brought Milwaukee within 2-1 in the eighth with his first homer, a two-out solo shot to left off Genesis Cabrera.
Willy Adames opened the Brewers ninth with a sharp single to left off Giovanny Gallegos, but Hunter Renfroe popped out and pinch-hitter Rowdy Tellez bounced into a game-ending double play.
Matz (1-1) allowed three hits with six strikeouts and no walks in 5 2/3 innings for his first victory with St. Louis. The left-hander, 14-7 last season with Toronto, was tagged for seven runs on nine hits in three innings in his Cardinals debut, a 9-4 loss to Pittsburgh last Sunday. Gallegos got the final four outs for his second save.
Houser (0-2), who dominated the Cardinals last season, allowed one run on four hits in 5 2/3 innings, striking out four and walking three. Last season, Houser was 3-0 in four starts against St. Louis, allowing one earned run in 25 innings.
The Cardinals capitalized on a loss of command by Houser in the fourth when Tyler O’Neill and Nolan Arenado drew consecutive one-out walks. Houser retired Dickerson on a fly to shallow left, but Paul DeJong capped a seven-pitch at-bat with an RBI double down the left-field line.
Houser exited with two aboard in the sixth following a two-out walk, but Trevor Gott relieved and retired DeJong on a popout to short.
St. Louis added a run in the seventh off Jake Cousins when Arenado doubled with two outs, advanced on a wild pitch, and came home on Dickerson’s single to right.
After winning the series opener 5-1, the Brewers managed just one run in losing each of the next two games.
–Field Level Media