The St. Louis Cardinals are still searching for a quality start, but it won't be easy against a red-hot Brewers team on Saturday night in the middle game of a weekend series in Milwaukee
Jordan Montgomery (1-0, 5.40 ERA) gets the nod Saturday for St. Louis, while the Brewers will counter with Eric Lauer (1-0, 3.38) in a matchup of left-handers making their second start of the season
Milwaukee extended its winning streak to six games with a 4-0 victory over the Cardinals on Friday night. Brandon Woodruff and five relievers combined on a five-hitter, the Brewers' third shutout in the past four games
St. Louis starter Jack Flaherty gave up two runs on four hits in five innings, but he walked six. It was the Cardinals' seventh game without a quality start, and only once has a St. Louis starter lasted six innings
"We've been using the 'pen quite a bit," said Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol, whose club has lost four straight. "It's not just pitching out of trouble, it's being able to go a little deeper.
After winning the final two games in the opening series against the host Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee has won its first four home games for the first time since 2008.
The Brewers continue to get timely hitting from their revamped lineup
Brian Anderson, signed as a free agent after six seasons with the Miami Marlins, has hit safely in all seven games. Rookie Joey Wiemer has hit safely in each of his first six games. Garrett Mitchell, who played in 28 games last season with the Brewers, extended his hitting streak to five games with a single and double on Friday, his third multi-hit game of the year
Seven of the Brewers' nine hits on Friday were singles, and Milwaukee also drew eight walks
"I think we're doing a great job with quality at-bats," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "Just a lot of tough outs. You're not going to cash in every single opportunity, but we put up a ton of tough at-bats tonight. If that just continues, that circular motion in the lineup, we're going to score.
Lauer allowed two runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings in his first start, a 9-5 win over the Cubs on Sunday. He is 2-3 with 6.46 ERA in seven career appearances, including six starts, against St. Louis.
Lauer faced the Cards three times last season and went 1-1 while giving up 10 runs in 17 innings (5.29 ERA) and allowing four home runs.
Montgomery went five innings in his season debut, a 9-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday. He yielded three runs on six hits.
Montgomery is 1-1 with a 3.52 ERA in three career starts against the Brewers but will make his first start in Milwaukee
Marmol wasn't happy about his team issuing eight walks on Friday, matching the staff's total from the previous four games combined.
"They're turning the lineup over another time; it makes it a lot more difficult on the bullpen," Marmol said. "So yes, we've been able to pitch through some of it and get out of it and limit damage, but still, pitch counts are way up in the fourth inning. ...
"There's not a real answer for it at the moment. We have to walk less people."
Cardinals reliever Packy Naughton left after facing three hitters in the eighth inning Friday with what Marmol said was forearm tightness. The left-hander was headed for a medical exam, and the team was awaiting word on his condition
--Field Level Media