MILWAUKEE (AP) — A most difficult day for the Milwaukee Brewers only got harder when they had to face Adam Wainwright.
After shortstop Jean Segura left the team and traveled home to the Dominican Republic to mourn the death of his 9-month-old son, the Brewers lost their seventh straight game Saturday.
Wainwright pitched St. Louis to a 10-2 win, and the Cardinals tied Milwaukee for the NL Central lead. The Brewers had led by 6 1/2 games on July 1.
“I think everybody in the clubhouse was affected quite a bit,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “I don’t want to make excuses. We knew that we still have a game to play and a job to do, but we did not play well today.”
The 24-year-old Segura learned his son had died after the Brewers’ 7-6 loss to St. Louis on Friday night, and was put on the bereavement list. Roenicke said the boy had been ill.
The Brewers observed a moment of silence for Janniel Segura, and the clubhouse was closed before the game.
Starting pitcher Jimmy Nelson (1-1) said he really wanted to win the game for Segura. Nelson went 4 1/3 innings, giving up eight runs and eight hits.
Nelson was recalled from Triple-A Nashville on Thursday to make his first start since replacing ineffective Marco Estrada in the rotation.
“I’m disappointed I didn’t do my part to get it done,” he said. “We are all praying right now for Segura and his family.”
The Brewers have lost 11 of 12. They had held sole possession of first place since April 9.
Frustrated Brewers star Carlos Gomez struck out swinging in the fifth inning and tried three times without success to break the bat over his leg. He slammed his helmet and tore up his batting gloves.
Roenicke said he was very surprised by the Brewers’ slump.
“I did not expect us to go on this kind of slide, but we need to regroup and start playing like we did in the first part of the season,” he said. “I am confident that we can put it together and come out and get a win tomorrow.”
Nelson said it was a very frustrating outing for him.
“It was all on me,” he said. “I didn’t execute like I wanted to and when that happens no matter what level you are at, you are going to get hit.”
Wainwright pitched seven strong innings, Tony Cruz drove in a career-high three runs and Kolten Wong homered.
Wainwright (12-4) gave up two runs and five hits. He has allowed just four earned runs in his last six starts.
Wainwright helped himself with an RBI single and tied Cincinnati’s Alfredo Simon and the Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka for the most wins in the majors.
St. Louis took a 3-0 lead in the first inning. A two-out error by second baseman Scooter Gennett on a grounder set up Cruz’s two-run single.
Wong hit a two-run homer in the second. It was his fifth home run in the last six games since coming back from the disabled list.
Cruz doubled home a run in the third.
NOTES: Milwaukee recalled INF Elian Herrera from Triple-A Nashville to replace Segura on the roster. … The Brewers will start RHP Wily Peralta (9-6) in the series finale Sunday against Carlos Martinez (2-3).