MILWAUKEE — A decisive element of the Cardinals’ ongoing search for that reliever who could seize a middle inning and steal time for the offense to rally was, of course, banking on their offense to at some point conjure that rally.
They had not always been able to sync the two.
They did Wednesday, emphatically.
In his 25th appearance in the majors, Johan Oviedo, emerging on this trip as the answer to the Cardinals’ middle-relief riddle, earned his first big-league win. He had been 0-9. But the win only came when he froze the Brewers’ one-run lead in the fifth and Nolan Arenado reversed it in the sixth inning. Arenado’s two-run homer coupled with Oviedo’s 2 1/3 scoreless innings lifted the Cardinals to a 5-4 victory against Milwaukee and back into first place in the National League Central Division at American Family Field.
In relief of starter Adam Wainwright, Oviedo entered in the fifth inning with two of the veteran’s runners still on base and one out to get. Oviedo got the groundball that kept Wainwright’s ERA from bloating and, more essentially, the Brewers’ lead from swelling. The young right-handed picked up the pace from there, striking out three of the next six batters he faced to deliver a one-run game to the back end of the bullpen.
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