The Brewers' lead over the Cardinals in the National League Central finally evaporated Saturday afternoon after a 10-2 loss in Milwaukee. It marked Milwaukee's seventh consecutive defeat and 11th in 12 games dating back to June 29.
But the disappointment stemming from Milwaukee's midseason collapse has paled in comparison to the overwhelming sadness gripping the clubhouse after shortstop Jean Segura learned late Friday night that his nine-month-old son, Janniel, had passed away.
Segura traveled home to the Dominican Republic early Saturday morning and was placed on the bereavement list. At this point, the team is unsure of when Segura will return.
With heavy hearts, the Brewers have no choice but to move forward. They'll cap off the first half of 2014 with the series finale against the Cardinals on Sunday, a chance to not only regain the division lead, but also provide a glimmer of positivity in a moment of devastation.
"You walk in after a tough loss and you hear another [piece of] bad news. That's hard," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "I always talk about these guys being able to turn the page, and we will."
Cardinals right-hander Carlos Martinez will match up with Brewers right-hander Wily Peralta on the mound for Sunday's contest.
Martinez will be making his seventh career start and sixth this season. The Cardinals are 5-0 in his five starts. He's compiled a 4.12 ERA in 59 innings this season, the majority of which have come during his 30 relief appearances.
In his last start, Martinez surrendered four runs over six innings in the Cards' 5-4 walk-off win over Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Peralta has gone 9-6 with a 3.95 ERA in 18 starts this season. The Phillies rocked the right-hander for nine earned runs on eight hits over 4 1/3 innings in his last outing.
Cardinals: Matheny confident in Cruz behind the plate
Yadier Molina is expected to miss 8-12 weeks with a torn ligament in his right thumb, and he was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Thursday. In the meantime, Tony Cruz has assumed the starting role.
The Brewers stole two bases on a double steal in the first inning of Friday's night's series opener and added another in Saturday's game. Even so, manager Mike Matheny is not concerned and has full faith in Cruz's defensive abilities.
"I'm not that concerned because I know how good of a thrower Tony is," Matheny said.
Cruz contributed with his bat in Saturday's 10-2 victory, driving in three runs.
Brewers: Wang to the DL
Brewers Rule 5 Draft pick Wei-Chung Wang was placed on the disabled list late Thursday night with shoulder tightness.
Wang compiled an 11.12 ERA in 13 appearances this season. The 22-year-old, who pitched in rookie ball last year, saw limited action because of his inexperience.
Manager Ron Roenicke said Wang would get several weeks of rest before beginning his throwing program and ultimately joining a Minor League affiliate for a rehab assignment. The skipper thinks the time off will be positive for Wang's development.
"That's the hard thing with what we were doing with him, is it was so inconsistent as to what we were doing. He would go 10 days, sometimes 12 days," Roenicke said. "That's what makes it so hard -- you want to develop him, and you also want him to pitch well for you, yet the inconsistent work is tough on a guy."
• The Cardinals optioned catcher Audry Perez to Triple-A Memphis to make room for catcher George Kottaras on the 25-man roster.