Neither Jesus Aguilar nor Bud Norris wanted to let their team down.
Aguilar succeeded twice.
Aguilar homered to break up rookie Jack Flaherty’s no-hit bid in the seventh inning T.J. Green Jersey , then homered again in the ninth to lift the Milwaukee Brewers over the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 on Friday night.
Both teams got just three hits. The benches and bullpens briefly cleared in the eighth after Eric Sogard slid into St. Louis shortstop Yairo Munoz, who caught a wide throw on a bunt play in the eighth.
Norris (3-2) started the ninth for the Cardinals by striking out Travis Shaw. But, Aguilar followed with an opposite-field drive to right for his 16th home run.
”Don’t get a strikeout. Don’t get a strikeout,” Aguilar said about digging in against Norris. ”That’s why I was kind of overaggressive, I think. I got lucky to hit that pitch.”
Norris, speaking in front of his locker in the subdued Cardinals clubhouse, owned up to the mistake.
”I yanked one pitch, and he hit it,” Norris said. ”That’s the game.”
It was another tough loss for the Cardinals, who have lost nine of the last 12.
”Watching them walk us off, that’s hard,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. ”Jack did everything he could possibly do.”
Corey Knebel (1-0) pitched the ninth for the NL Central leaders.
With one out in the seventh John Klingberg Jersey , Aguilar drove an 83 mph slider from Flaherty into the Brewers’ bullpen in left, where reliever Jeremy Jeffress caught the ball on the fly. A woman who was knitting – it appeared to be crochet, actually – in the front row behind home plate barely flinched as Aguilar connected.
”He got that ball almost off the ground,” catcher Yadier Molina said. ”We’ve got to give him some credit.”
Aguilar tipped his cap to Flaherty.
”He was dominating the strike zone tonight, and I think we got lucky,” he said. ”We tied the game in the moment. It’s a new game, and we’re moving forward, thinking we’re going to win this game.”
Flaherty matched a career high by striking out 13 in seven innings, allowing just one hit. The Cardinals played stellar defense behind him after giving up six unearned runs with a season-high four errors in Thursday’s 11-3 loss to Milwaukee. Munoz robbed Jonathan Villar of a base hit in the fifth with a nice running backhand stab of a liner tailing away from him.
”That was unbelievable,” Molina said of Flaherty’s performance. ”Good pitching, good effort. Everything was working for him. We didn’t hit enough to get him the win tonight.”
Matt Carpenter walked, advanced on a sacrifice by Harrison Bader and scored on Marcell Ozuna’s liner up the middle in the third.
Brewers starter Junior Guerra allowed one run and three hits with four walks and seven strikeouts in five-plus innings.
Cardinals: INF Paul DeJong (left hand fracture) took batting practice and is anxious to return. ”It looked like he didn’t miss a beat Charles Mann Jersey , but we’re going to have to slow down and make sure we’re following the program,” manager Mike Matheny said.
Brewers: LF Ryan Braun missed his second consecutive game after receiving a cryotherapy injection in his troublesome right thumb Wednesday in Los Angeles. … LHP Wade Miley (right oblique strain) made a rehab start for Double-A Biloxi. He went two innings and allowed a run on three hits and struck out three.
Each team struck out 15 times and each one seemed to bring consternation with plate umpire Tim Timmons.
”When the pitchers keep putting the balls on the corners, there’s going to be some disagreements,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. ”There were a lot of balls put on corners tonight.”
Tommy Pham, batting second, was ejected by Timmons after Pham took a called third strike in the first. He continued to bark about it from the dugout before being tossed for the first time in his career. Bader replaced Pham in center field.
Cardinals: RHP Miles Mikolas (7-2, 2.69 ERA) makes his third start against the Brewers this season. He won 8-4 in his Cardinals debut on April 2.
Brewers: RHP Chase Anderson (5-6, 4.54 ERA) makes his second start this season against the Cardinals. He is 2-2 with a 3.19 ERA in 10 career outings, including a no-decision April 3 at Miller Park.
Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur wants to make sure Marcus Mariota is comfortable with Tennessee's new offense so he plans to call plays that best fit the quarterback.
Mariota is busy learning his latest NFL offense, but any talk about what plays the fourth-year QB prefers will have to wait at least until he knows everything LaFleur is asking him to run.
"I'm just trying to grasp everything," Mariota said Tuesday. "You don't want to be opinionated on something that you have never run. I just try to go out there and execute, and do what they're asking me to do. When we come back and we have to determine some of these things Reggie White Jersey , and determine what we like and what we don't like, I'll definitely express my opinion."
That's exactly what LaFleur expects, even if he's learning that getting the polite Mariota to speak up isn't always easy.
"He's an extremely bright guy," LaFleur said. "He's picked it up pretty quickly. Again, I think it's more or less just having that confidence in being able to go out there and not think so much when he's playing. So the more reps he's been getting, the better he's been doing."
The Titans wrap up their organized team activities this week, and their mandatory minicamp next week concludes the offseason where first-time head coach Mike Vrabel and his staff have been busy teaching and installing new offensive and defensive schemes. LaFleur, the third man to interview for the Titans' head coaching job in January, joined Vrabel as his offensive coordinator for the chance at calling plays in the NFL.
LaFleur's biggest challenge is making sure the Titans put Mariota in position to take advantage of his skills. Tennessee fired coach Mike Mularkey after winning the franchise's first playoff game in 14 years because they didn't get enough out of Mariota and the offense last season despite going 9-7.
The Titans tied for 22nd in the NFL with 33 touchdowns despite tying for second with 18 TDs rushing. Only four teams threw fewer passes than Tennessee (496), and the Titans ranked 23rd averaging 199.4 yards passing per game. They also fell to 15th in the league running the ball for an average of 114.6 yards.
LaFleur joined Tennessee from the Los Angeles Rams who scored a league-high 29.9 points per game last season. What LaFleur wants from the Titans all starts with the run game and his very mobile quarterback.
"We're going to try to have a strong marriage between the run and the pass, so that to a defense it might look, 'Oh http://www.chicagobearsteamonline.com/mike-glennon-jersey , here comes another run,' and it's play-action off that run," LaFleur said.
To rev up the run game, the Titans released veteran DeMarco Murray in March and signed Dion Lewis as a free agent to join Derrick Henry. LaFleur said he looks at the running backs as 1A and 1B.
In the end, the biggest key also is the most obvious: keep Mariota healthy for a full season for the first time in his career.
"When he's healthy, this offense runs smoothly and we've got to keep him that way," Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker said.
Notes: Left tackle Taylor Lewan and wide receiver Corey Davis were not at Tuesday's session. Vrabel said he had heard from the players not in attendance. ... Linebacker Kevin Dodd, the No. 33 pick overall in 2016, has been missing in action during the three organized team activity sessions open to reporters. Vrabel said Tuesday he could end the mystery because Dodd wasn't around. The upcoming minicamp is mandatory.
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