MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Making his major league debut, Chris Saenz made
believe it was just another day in the minor leagues.
He looked like he had been pitching in the big leagues for
The 22-year-old right-hander struck out seven and walked three,
helping the Brewers (10-9) move above .500 this late in the season
for the first time since June 29, 2001 (39-38).
He was brought up Friday from Double-A Huntsville when Chris
Capuano was put on the 15-day disabled list because of a leg
injury. The Brewers didn't have an emergency starter available
because their bullpen was worn out during Thursday's 15-inning loss
"I was just trying not think about it," he said. "I was
trying (to think) it was another day in Double-A, just going out
there ... getting my pitches down."
Saenz, 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in two starts for Huntsville, worked
out of a bases-loaded jam in the first, then pitched with command
until leaving with a runner on in the seventh. He threw 93 pitches,
58 for strikes.
"He got into a groove, and we didn't do much against him,"
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "He's probably not very
impressed with us."
With his mother, Cheryl, and girlfriend, Jackie, watching from
the stands, Saenz struck out Bo Hart to start the game, gave up a
single to Ray Lankford, then retired Albert Pujols on a foulout.
Jim Edmonds and Scott Rolen walked, and Edgar Renteria hit an
inning-ending flyout to the warning track.
The only runner Saenz allowed to reach in the next five innings
was Pujols, who was hit by a pitch in the third and singled in the
"He threw the ball pretty good and made no mistakes," Renteria
said. "It's pretty good for the first time."
Saenz was matched up against Woody Williams, who went 18-9 last
season. Williams (0-2) allowed two runs and three hits in six
innings, and struck out five. On April 7, he made his season debut
against the Brewers and didn't get a decision.
"I got outpitched," he said. "He comes up here from Double-A,
and he pitched outstanding. There wasn't a whole lot I could do. He
was pounding the strike zone."
St. Louis began the day with a major league-high 34 homers and
an NL-leading .294 average.
"What he did out there today ... is nothing less than
phenomenal," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "He was going right
after hitters. He was moving his fastball in and out. He had a
nasty slider that he was buckling them with."
Jeff Bennett relieved after Saenz walked Renteria to start the
seventh and got out of the inning.
Luis Vizcaino threw a run-scoring wild pitch in the eighth. Dan
Kolb, Milwaukee's fifth pitcher, had a perfect ninth for his fifth
save in as many chances, completing a five-hitter.
Brewers SS Bill Hall started for Craig Counsell. It was the
third start for Hall, who took four stitches in his right leg after
getting spiked during Thursday's game. ... Hart struck out three
times against Saenz.