Rangers take first two games from Cards, win 4-2.
Sun, 23 Jun 2013 19:54:11 GMT —
It didn't take long for the Texas Rangers to get acquainted with Cardinals starter Shelby Miller.
Making his first start against a Rangers team he grew up watching, Miller surrendered two first-pitch homers, and they were all the Rangers needed to come out on top Saturday night.
After a one-hour and six-minute rain delay at the start of the game, the Cardinals fell, 4-2, in a second straight loss to their 2011 World Series foe in front of 44,651 fans at Busch Stadium.
Miller struck out two in a perfect first inning, but he was hit for a double and then a 376-foot homer in the second as A.J. Pierzynski took him deep on the first pitch of his at-bat.
The Cardinals tied it up at 2 in the second when David Freese knocked a triple off the wall and reached home on a sacrifice fly from Shane Robinson.
But Miller served up another two-run homer on another first pitch, this time to Nelson Cruz, in the third.
While they didn't come away with any other runs, the Rangers hit Miller six other times and only grounded out once in 25 at-bats against the rookie right-hander.
Miller ran into trouble again in the sixth when he walked one batter, allowed a single and then let opposing starter Martin Perez reach on a bunt when his throw to first was off the mark.
With two outs and the bases loaded, Seth Maness relieved Miller and secured the final out.
The two homers were the seventh and eighth on the year for Miller, and it was the third time he's given up multiple home runs in a game this season.
He also walked one batter and struck out five in 5 2/3 innings.
In his second start of the season, Perez effectively handled the dangerous Cardinals lineup, limiting St. Louis to two runs on five hits and one walk in seven innings.
Perez is the second straight Rangers lefty to give the Cardinals trouble. St. Louis entered the game hitting .233 (143-for-614) against left-handers for the season as opposed to a .289 average against righties.
Relievers Maness, Kevin Siegrist and Michael Blazek combined to pitch 3 1/3 scoreless innings.
Blazek made his Major League debut on a night when all four Cardinals pitchers were rookies.
St. Louis struck first with one run in the first inning as Allen Craig drove home Carlos Beltran with a two-out single.
Craig has 21 RBIs in June, the most he's had in one month while in the Majors. He pushed 20 runs across in September last year.
Yadier Molina's 0-for-4 performance dropped his batting average to .358 as he fell behind Detroit's Miguel Cabrera, who reclaimed the Majors' best average at .368.