for this game

Hardy, Jenkins power Brewers over Cardinals

May 2, 2007 - 5:24 AM MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- The Milwaukee Brewers continue to be one of baseball's biggest early-season surprises.

J.J. Hardy and Geoff Jenkins each went 4-for-5 and Ben Sheets won for the first time in a month as the Brewers beat up on the St. Louis Cardinals, 12-2, sending the defending World Series champions to their fourth straight loss.

Tony Graffanino added three hits and belted a three-run homer in a game-breaking seven-run sixth inning for Milwaukee, which won its third straight game to improve to a major league-best 17-9.

"We're going to keep doing the things we're doing and not change it," Jenkins said. "It's fun to win and be a part of a winning team. It's something we haven't had here."

Sheets (2-2), who has not won since a sterling performance on Opening Day, overcame a shaky start to allow two runs and six hits in six innings. He struck out three and walked one.

After allowing single runs in the second and third innings, Sheets retired 11 of his final 12 batters, yielding only a two-out single in the fifth to Albert Pujols.

"In the fourth inning, I finally made an adjustment six games deep (into the season) and I think it should bode well for me the next couple starts," Sheets said. "My command's been brutal all year on (every pitch), but after I made the adjustment, things seemed a little more normal."

Sheets had left his last start at Chicago on Wednesday with a strained groin, lasting just three innings.

"I think we did the smart thing," Sheets said of his early departure in Chicago. "Wussy? Yes. But it was the smart thing, and we were back out there in (six) days."

The Brewers rewarded his tenacity Tuesday by breaking through for four runs in the fifth against St. Louis starter Braden Looper and seven more in the sixth.

Bill Hall had the key hit in the fifth, a two-run, one-out double to tie it at 2-2. Jenkins drove in Hall with the third run and Kevin Mench added a sacrifice fly to center field for a 4-2 lead.

"I've been struggling, but I'm still helping the team with some big at-bats," Hall said. "I can't wait until I get hot."

Looper has been a revelation in his first season as a converted starter, entering with an outstanding 1.91 ERA and pitching at least six innings in each of his five starts. In his previous four outings, Looper has allowed four runs and 15 hits in 27 innings.

The 32-year-old righthander labored against Milwaukee, though, allowing four runs and 11 hits in five-plus innings. He left with runners on second and third and no outs in the top of the sixth.

"I just let things get out of control in the fifth," Looper said. "As a starting pitcher with a two-run lead, I can't let that happen. It definitely unraveled and my job is to not let the game get out of hand. I just didn't get the job done."

Sheets led off the sixth with a single and Rickie Weeks doubled to left-center, knocking Looper from the game.

Randy Flores relieved Looper and was greeted by a long two-run double by Hardy, his fourth hit of the night, to boost the lead to 6-2. Prince Fielder followed with a run-scoring single for a 7-2 lead.

"I think we're just trying to stay relaxed, see the ball and not do too much with it," Hardy said. "It's working out for us. We were down, and we just went out there and didn't panic. We got a couple runs in the fifth and from there we relaxed and got some more. It's a lot of fun to go out there and somebody is doing something positive."

The Brewers loaded the bases with one out to bring in Brad Thompson, who allowed a run on Mench's fielder's choice groundout before serving up a three-run homer to Graffanino that ballooned the lead to 11-2.

That pretty much dimmed the prospects of a comeback for the Cardinals, who have scored fewer than four runs 18 times in their 25 games.

"It turned to horse manure, not nearly good enough and we're all involved," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "We were competing, but not making it a very good competition. We're going to have to start doing our part."

The team also is mourning the death of pitcher Josh Hancock, was was killed early Sunday in a car crash.

Jenkins capped the scoring with a solo homer in the eighth, while Hardy extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a first-inning double.

Looper gave St. Louis a 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the second and Chris Duncan slammed a solo home run - his second against Sheets this season and fifth overall - for a 2-0 lead in the third inning.

"(Sheets) made one mistake that hurt him, leaving a changeup up to Duncan and that was it," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "His fastball from the first pitch on was very, very good. His breaking ball was getting sharper and sharper as the game progressed. He threw very well."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ST LOUIS 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 9 2
    MILWAUKEE 0 0 0 0 4 7 0 1 x 12 17 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: STL - BRADEN LOOPER, RANDY FLORES (6TH), BRAD THOMPSON (6TH), DENNIS
    DOVE (8TH) AND YADIER MOLINA
    MIL - BEN SHEETS, BRIAN SHOUSE (7TH), CHRIS SPURLING
    (8TH) AND JO

    May 1 10:58 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY GEOFF JENKINS (5) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF DENNIS DOVE.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 2, MILWAUKEE 12
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: K MENCH (.329, 0-FOR-3, SF, 2 RBI)

    Cardinals vs. BrewersMay 1 10:43 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY TONY GRAFFANINO (1) TO LEFT WITH 2
    OUT IN THE 6TH OFF BRAD THOMPSON SCORED JOHNNY ESTRADA AND KEVIN
    MENCH.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 2, MILWAUKEE 11
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: B SHEETS (.077, 1-FOR-3)

    Cardinals vs. BrewersMay 1 10:09 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY KEVIN MENCH SCORED PRINCE FIELDER.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, K MENCH ON FIRST, J ESTRADA ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 2
    MILWAUKEE 8 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: T GRAFFANINO (.245, 2-FOR-3)

    Cardinals vs. BrewersMay 1 10:08 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY PRINCE FIELDER SCORED J.J. HARDY.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, P FIELDER ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 2
    MILWAUKEE 7 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: B HALL (.244, 1-FOR-2, BB, 2 RBI)

    Cardinals vs. BrewersMay 1 9:57 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY J.J. HARDY SCORED BEN SHEETS AND RICKIE WEEKS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J HARDY ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 2
    MILWAUKEE 6 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: P FIELDER (.265, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Cardinals vs. BrewersMay 1 9:56 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY KEVIN MENCH SCORED JOHNNY ESTRADA.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, G JENKINS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 2
    MILWAUKEE 4 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: T GRAFFANINO (.250, 2-FOR-2)

    Cardinals vs. BrewersMay 1 9:37 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY GEOFF JENKINS SCORED BILL HALL.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, G JENKINS ON FIRST, J ESTRADA ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 2
    MILWAUKEE 3 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: K MENCH (.333, 0-FOR-2)

    Cardinals vs. BrewersMay 1 9:36 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY BILL HALL SCORED J.J. HARDY AND PRINCE FIELDER.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, B HALL ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 2
    MILWAUKEE 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: J ESTRADA (.304, 0-FOR-2)

    Cardinals vs. BrewersMay 1 9:34 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CHRIS DUNCAN (5) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 0
    OUT IN THE 3RD OFF BEN SHEETS.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 2, MILWAUKEE 0
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: A PUJOLS (.247, 0-FOR-1)

    Cardinals vs. BrewersMay 1 8:47 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY BRADEN LOOPER SCORED YADIER MOLINA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B LOOPER ON FIRST, D ECKSTEIN ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 1
    MILWAUKEE 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: S SCHUMAKER (.270, 0-FOR-1)

    Cardinals vs. BrewersMay 1 8:35 PM