Cardinals bats come alive late, pull away from Braves
ATLANTA - The Cardinals seem to have righted the September ship somewhat. The Redbirds clinched a road series win tonight over the Atlanta Braves, winning 8-1. It's St. Louis's third win in a row overall, having beaten the LA Dodgers on Sunday.
The Cardinals sent Austin Gomber to the hill, who looked to rebound from a miserable outing against the Dodgers last week. Gomber gave up seven runs on nine hits over just 3.0 innings in a 9-7 loss. His opponent was Aníbal Sánchez, who has enjoyed a solid year with the Braves, bringing in a 6-5 record and 3.01 ERA.
This game started much better then the last for Gomber. He got through two innings, giving up just a single to Freddie Freeman in the bottom of the first. Enter Ronald Acuña Jr. The Rookie of the Year candidate got a hold of a fastball to launch his 26th home run of the season and give the Braves a 1-0 lead after three innings.
St. Louis was still hitless at this point, but that wouldn't last long. Paul De Jong answered the Braves homer with one of his own, this time with a man on base to put the Cardinals up 2-1.
That was where the score would stay for a while as neither starter would give up another run. The Braves bullpen, however, would prove vulnerable later in the game.
Atlanta has had its fair share of late inning struggles of late, and tonight was no different. With one out into the top of the 8th, the Redbirds began to take advantage. Jonny Venters takes the mound for the Braves with one out, and left with one out. He gave up a walk and a double to Matt Carpenter and Jose Martinez, before being pulled.
Dan Winkler would be the next victim, giving up an RBI single to Paul De Jong before walking Marcell Ozuna. He exited the game with still just one out in the inning and the Cardinals leading 3-1. Sam Freeman was next in line for the Atlanta, and he would finally get the second out, striking out pinch-hitter Patrick Wisdom.
But in baseball you need three outs, and Freeman would give up a bases-loaded single to Yadi Molina before he could get it. It turned into a bases clearing single after left fielder Acuña dropped the ball before throwing it to the infield. By the end of the inning, the Cards would take a commanding 6-1 lead into the ninth.
They would add two more in the top of the ninth as well before mercifully ending the Braves' bullpen misery in the bottom half.
The Redbirds will look for the sweep tomorrow at 11:10 AM with Jack Flaherty facing Touki Toussaint.