ST. LOUIS (AP) — With a day off on Monday, St. Louis manager Mike Matheny tried to squeeze one more outing from closer Trevor Rosenthal on Sunday.
Rosenthal, who had pitched in four straight games with three saves, came in to start the ninth with a one-run lead against the Atlanta Braves.
Rosenthal managed to get two outs, but then forced in the tying run with a bases-loaded walk to Jordan Schafer.
Reliever Carlos Martinez followed Rosenthal and his wild pitch allowed the winning run to score in a 6-5 loss.
Matheny went back and forth on whether to make Rosenthal available. But Rosenthal appeared to feel fine after warming up before the game, and Matheny gave him the chance.
"He's a tough kid," Matheny said. "He wanted the ball. I pushed him today and it didn't work."
Schafer said that Rosenthal still was tough.
"He was throwing hard," Schafer said. "He didn't lose much."
The blown save was the second for Rosenthal (0-2), who just missed striking out Schafer on a 3-2 borderline pitch.
I thought it was close," Rosenthal said. "It's gone as a strike before, it's gone as a ball before. In the heat of the moment, you always want it to go your way."
Had Rosenthal gotten the save, it would have made the winner out of Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia, who pitched seven innings in his first outing in more than a year.
Garcia, who underwent surgery in May 2013 to repair a torn labrum and rotator cuff in his pitching shoulder, allowed four runs and five hits with five strikeouts. The outing was Garcia's 100th appearance in the majors, but first since May 17, 2013.
"He threw the ball well," Matheny said. "When he was down, he was making very good pitches and getting quick outs."
Dan Carpenter (3-0) pitched 1 1-3 innings of scoreless relief for the win. Craig Kimbrel pitched a scoreless ninth for his 11th save in 13 chances. The save was the 150th of Kimbrel's career.
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