Cards turn to Lackey in finale with Brewers

( – John Lackey looks to pitch the St. Louis Cardinals to a
series victory over the Milwaukee Brewers when the NL Central rivals conclude
a three-game set Thursday afternoon at Busch Stadium.

Lackey did not figure into the decision of a 5-4 loss at Cincinnati last
Friday and was touched for four runs on a pair of two-run homers by Joey Votto
over six innings.

“Overall, John was good,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.

The veteran right-hander will make his fourth career start against Milwaukee
and is 2-1 with a 5.14 earned run average in the first three chances. Lackey
is nine strikeouts away from 1,800 in his career and the Cardinals won all
five of his home starts in 2014.

St. Louis made a winner out of Lance Lynn in Wednesday’s 4-2 verdict versus
the Brewers and he lasted five innings, charged with one run on six hits and a
walk with four K’s. Trevor Rosenthal was the sixth reliever used by the
Cardinals and picked up his third save despite allowing a run in the ninth.

“That’s not how we draw it up, to use those guys that much,” Matheny said of
the bullpen use. “Wins are that valuable.”

Matt Holliday drove in two runs, Yadier Molina had three hits and Matt
Carpenter added two. Jhonny Peralta went 1-for-4 with a run scored and has hit
safely in 10 straight games dating back to last season. Holliday has at least
one hit in each of the club’s first seven games as well.

The Cardinals rebounded from Monday’s 5-4 loss to Milwaukee and has prevailed
in three of their last four games. They will host Cincinnati for three games
this weekend.

Milwaukee had won two of three games before Wednesday’s loss and Wily Peralta
struggled on the hill, as he yielded all four runs and 10 hits in five

Jonathan Lucroy, Ryan Braun, Aramis Ramirez and Jean Segura all tallied two
hits for Milwaukee, which fell to 2-6. The Brewers had the tying run reach the
plate in the ninth against Rosenthal, but he induced a flyout from Adam Lind
to end the game.

“We had chances,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “We aren’t stringing
together hits.”

The Brewers will try to get the bats going for starter Mike Fiers Thursday
and he struggled in his season debut, a 6-2 loss to Pittsburgh last Friday.
Fiers surrendered five runs and seven hits with a walk and eight strikeouts in
five innings of work.

Fiers, a right-hander, has a 2-1 mark and a 1.30 earned run average in six
career meetings (4 starts) with the Cardinals and went 1-1 in two starts
against them last season. Fiers is 1-1 with a 1.29 ERA in four career games (2
starts) at Busch Stadium.

Milwaukee will resume this six-game, seven-day trip with a three-game series
against the Pirates this weekend.

St. Louis won 12 of its 19 meetings with the Brewers last season.