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St. Louis - It took Mother Nature, in one of her more wicked appearances at Busch Stadium, to cool off the Milwaukee Brewers .

A fast-moving, torrential rainstorm with high winds forced the postponement Friday night of the game between the Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals in the bottom of the second inning. The game was rescheduled for 7:15 p.m. Monday, a mutual off day for both teams.

The Cardinals were leading, 2-0, on a two-run homer by Colby Rasmus off right-hander Yovani Gallardo when play was stopped with one out and one on in the bottom of the second. The possibility of severe weather was forecast before the game but the decision was made to start on time at 7:15 p.m.

"It could have gone north of us," said manager Ken Macha, who didn't quibble with the decision to start the game. "We were on the bottom end of that storm front."

Gallardo, who was 3-0 with a 1.80 earned run average over his previous five starts, was cautioned by pitching coach Bill Castro during the bullpen warm-up that a storm was coming.

"When I was in the bullpen, Billy mentioned that to me," Gallardo said. "He was right, unfortunately. You know if you go one inning, two innings and sit around for an hour or two hours, you're done.

"You never know. It might not rain. You have to prepare yourself to go out and compete."

As the Brewers went down in order in the top of the second inning, the skies began to get very black behind the left-field corner of the stadium. Then the winds picked up, furiously whipping the flags atop the stands.

"J.J. (Hardy) said when he was batting (in the top of the second), the wind was blowing 100 mph straight in his face," Macha said.

Whether that gail-force wind helped Rasmus' two-run shot go out to right was debatable. But the weather continued to deteriorate, and after Gallardo walked Joe Thurston with one down, play was halted and the tarp was placed on the infield.

"I made a mistake over the plate and (Rasmus) hit it for a home run," Gallardo said.

"You're up on the mound and the wind is almost blowing you off the mound. You've got to make adjustments to that. Then, all of a sudden, the rain started coming. I kept looking up and it seemed like it was coming down harder after each pitch. It was just a matter of time."

None of the statistics count from the game, so Rasmus lost a home run to the weather. The make-up game will be played from the start.

When Gallardo pitches again remains to be seen. He threw 30 pitches before play was stopped and could come back to pitch in the makeup game Monday night.

Macha probably will decide to start Braden Looper in that game, however, on what would be his normal day to pitch and save Gallardo for Houston, where he pitched his first complete game in April.

The Cardinals are expected to start right-hander Joel Pi?iero (4-3, 4.17 earned run average), who like Looper would be pitching on his regular day.

There was some brief debate as to whether the makeup would be Monday or Aug. 31, another mutual off day for the clubs before the start of a three-game series here. The Brewers were not keen on that idea, however, because by playing on Aug. 31, they would have only two scheduled off days during the final 42 games of the season.

So, the battle atop the National League Central had to wait another day. The Brewers , who have won 17 of their last 22 games, and Cardinals both have 21-14 records.


Entering play Friday, the Brewers easily had the best record in the majors since April 22. The rundown:

Team W-L Pct.

Milwaukee Brewers 17-5 .773

Texas Rangers 14-7 .667

Los Angeles Angels 13-7 .650

Boston Red Sox 14-8 .636

Copyright 2009, Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved. (Note: This notice does not apply to those news items already copyrighted and received through wire services or other media.)

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Added: May 16, 2009

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