This Day in St. Louis Sports History: April 5


April 5, 1999: Cardinals fall 10-8 to Milwaukee Brewers on Opening Night at Busch Stadium

On this day 16 years ago, the St. Louis Cardinals suffered a 10-8 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Opening Night at Busch Stadium. Coming off the excitement of Mark McGwire‘s record-breaking 70-home run season in 1998, there was plenty of excitement surrounding the slugger, and he certainly did his best to quench that excitement, hitting a fifth-inning solo homer off Brewers starter David Weathers.

The rest of the Cardinals’ offense did their best to support McGwire, and the team collected a total of 11 hits for the day. Catcher Eli Marrero and left fielder Shawon Dunston led the way, both going 3-for-5, while second baseman Placido Polanco added two hits in his first Opening Day start.

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Unfortunately, the Cardinals’ pitching couldn’t do enough to make the offense viable. Starter Donovan Osborne was removed after throwing 49 pitches while giving up one earned run in two innings. He was replaced by right-hander Mike Busby, who allowed a two-run homer to Brewers catcher Dave Nilsson and was ultimately tagged for four earned runs in two innings. Manny Aybar followed him and allowed another two runs, and while the game got tight in the ninth inning, with the Brewers’ Bob Wickman and Cardinals reliever Juan Acevedo each allowing three earned runs, but Milwaukee ultimately pulled out on top.

The game was the Cardinals debut for several players. It was shortstop Edgar Renteria‘s first game in a Cardinal uniform after spending his first three seasons with the Florida Marlins. The same followed for veteran outfielders Eric Davis and Shawon Dunston.

Next: This Day in St. Louis Sports History: April 4