- Associated Press - Sunday, September 27, 2015

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Trevor Rosenthal is not about to panic.

Neither are his St. Louis Cardinals teammates.

Rosenthal gave up a ninth-inning grand slam and had his first blown save in over 10 weeks as the Cardinals lost 8-4 to the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday afternoon.

Milwaukee scored seven times in the ninth to erase a 3-1 deficit.

The Cardinals’ NL Central lead is three games over Pittsburgh. The Cardinals’ magic number for clinching the crown was cut to four after the Pirates lost in Chicago later Sunday.

St. Louis has lost two of three heading into a three-game showdown in Pittsburgh starting Monday.

Rosenthal had recorded 47 saves in 49 opportunities.

“You never want to let your teammates down, but I gave it all I’ve got and it’s just one game,” Rosenthal said. “You’ve just got to go out there, refocus, and get them tomorrow.”

Rosenthal has been near perfect since a blown save on July 12, the day before the All-Star break. He gave up a homer to Khris Davis in the ninth on Friday and struggled again Sunday.

“He’s been terrific,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. “This was one of those things that we haven’t seen too often. He’s been very, very good and he’ll continue to be good.”

Milwaukee rookie Jason Rogers hit a grand slam off Rosenthal (2-4) in the ninth. All four batters Rosenthal faced reached base and scored.

“I can’t explain how it happened, but it did,” Rosenthal said. “Just one of those days. I tried to get into a groove and just couldn’t quite get there.”

Rosenthal says his arm feels good despite a pair of subpar outings.

“Everything’s the same,” he said. “I just fell behind and they did a good job.

The Cardinals held a 6 ½-game lead in the NL Central on Sept. 5. They finished the home portion of their schedule with a 55-26 mark.

“It’s a tough way to lose,” Matheny said. “We had high hopes of finishing the regular season here at home on a good note.”

Davis homered twice and drove in four runs for the Brewers.

“This was a great come-from-behind win,” Davis said. “We were all having fun out there. It was just a great feeling.”

Rogers, who is 13 of 48 as a pinch hitter, ripped his second pinch-hit homer of the season and first grand slam of his career. Davis added a three-run homer later in the ninth off Seth Maness for an 8-3 lead.

“In the ninth, we just tried to give it our best chance with good at-bats,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. “Everything fell into place. Got some good pinch-hit efforts.”

David Goforth (1-0) picked up the win with one inning of relief.

Francisco Rodriguez recorded his 37th save in 39 chances. He retired Brandon Moss with two on to end the game.

Matt Carpenter and Stephen Piscotty hit back-to-back homers in the seventh to give the Cardinals a 3-1 lead.

St. Louis starter John Lackey allowed one run on five hits over seven innings for his 26th quality start in 32 outings this season.

“It’s one game, we can’t get too crazy about it,” Lackey said. “We’ve just got to play better on the road.”

Carpenter slammed a one-out home run off Jeremy Jeffress to break a 1-all tie. Piscotty followed with his seventh homer of the season.

Despite the loss, the St. Louis players realize they are still in the driver’s seat in the division race.

“Every loss has the same feeling, we’re not going to dwell on it,” Carpenter said. “We’ve got a chance to go out and win the division in the next few days. That’s all we can ask for.”


The Cardinals recorded their 37th sellout of the season and finished with 3,520,889 in attendance, an average of 43,468 per game. It is the second-highest attendance in the majors behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.


Cardinals: INF Carpenter returned to the lineup after leaving Saturday’s 5-1 win with tightness in his left hip.


Brewers; RHP Jorge Lopez will make his major league debut on Tuesday in the first of a three-game series in San Diego. He will be opposed by RHP Tyson Ross (10-11, 3.17).

Cardinals: RHP Lance Lynn (12-10, 3.16) faces LHP J.A. Happ (10-8, 3.88) on Monday in the first of a crucial three-game series in Pittsburgh.

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