The Milwaukee Brewers probably felt like they caught a major break with St. Louis Cardinals slugger Paul Goldschmidt on the bench Tuesday night, nursing a sore lower back.
Then, Nolan Gorman took over.
Unable to keep a lid on the Cardinals’ latest hitting prodigy, the Brewers surrendered solo home runs to him in consecutive at-bats and those round-trippers shifted the momentum in a 6-2 loss at American Family Field.
Gorman, a second baseman, finished 4 for 4 and drove in four runs.
Box score: Cardinals 6, Brewers 2
But make no mistake, Milwaukee’s offense deserved its share of the blame as well.
After getting a two-run homer from Willy Adames two batters into the bottom of the first inning, the Brewers failed to push another run across even with Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty allowing multiple baserunners in each of his three innings.
After singling twice in the second inning, Milwaukee managed two baserunners and one hit the rest of the way
The Brewers and Cardinals are once again deadlocked atop the Central Division standings with identical 39-31 records.
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Both starters scuffled with their command in the early going.
Chi Chi González — who made two brief starts for the Minnesota Twins earlier in the month before being waived — allowed two runs on three hits in the first inning while Flaherty followed by walking three.
The first free pass, to Christian Yelich, came around to score as Adames followed with a shot out to right-center. It was his 14th homer of the season, tied for tops among shortstops in the major leagues.
But the next two walks went for naught, as did a pair of singles in the second inning and two more walks in the third as the Brewers failed to take advantage of Flaherty’s wildness.
González, meanwhile, faced the minimum over the next two innings and had recorded the first out of the fourth before Gorman bashed a solo homer to center to once again put St. Louis back in front.
Flaherty was pulled after three and González after four after allowing four hits and a walk with two strikeouts over 73 pitches.
Brent Suter followed with 1⅓ innings of perfect relief, but Gorman slugged his second homer two batters into Miguel Sánchez’s appearance.
The Cardinals capped the scoring with four singles off Peter Strzelecki in the eighth, the third of which came from Gorman and left him with four RBI.
Adames doubled in the ninth for the Brewers’ fourth and final hit.
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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Brewers lose to Cardinals 6-2, fall back into tie for first in Central