But the St. Louis Cardinals soon directed some fireworks to the
scoreboard and handed Atlanta Braves starter Ervin Santana his first
loss of the season.
With right fielder Allen Craig supplying three singles, two runs and
an RBI to lead a 13-hit attack, the Cardinals subdued the Braves 5-2
at sold-out Busch Stadium.
Catcher Yadier Molina and first baseman Matt Adams also bagged two
hits and an RBI each for St. Louis (22-20), while left fielder Matt
Holliday snapped a 2-2 tie in the fifth with a run-scoring double.
"I think the guys played a clean, solid game," Cardinals manager
Mike Matheny said.
Matheny and Peter Bourjos spiced up a chilly evening -- it was 56
degrees at game time -- with some heated verbiage towards Barber
after Bourjos' second strikeout ended the fourth. Perhaps upset that
Santana's letter-high 0-1 fastball was called a strike, Bourjos
issued a parting blast for Barber and was dismissed.
Matheny charged on the field immediately and berated Barber at
length before getting heaved, his first ejection of the year.
Replays showed that Matheny made contact with Barber, although the
manager denied it after the game.
"I loved the fire and fight in Peter," Matheny said. "The most
frustrating thing was watching a player get thrown out when he was
walking away. We were as frustrated as Peter. You can't take the
emotion out of the game."
It didn't keep St. Louis from tagging Santana for four straight
one-out hits in a three-run fifth. Included in those was Craig's
third single, a liner into left that plated second baseman Kolten
Wong for a 4-2 lead.
Santana (4-1) entered the game with a 1.99 earned run average, but
allowed 10 hits and five runs in five innings, walking one and
Meanwhile, Cardinals starter Lance Lynn (5-2) got better as the
night got colder. He retired the last eight men he faced on 24
pitches to notch his first win since April 19.
In seven innings, Lynn scattered seven hits and allowed two runs
while walking two and striking out three. He avoided the big inning
that cost him in a 4-3 loss Saturday night at Pittsburgh, where he
gave up a 3-0 lead by coughing up a four-spot in the fourth.
"You've got to make one pitch to avoid that inning," Lynn said. "You
give up one run and that's it. I was ready to keep going, but I
threw too many pitches early in the game."
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It was the 20th time in the last 23 games that Atlanta (22-18) has
been held to four runs or fewer. The Braves are hitting just .231 as
a team and scoring only 3.2 runs per game.
"We just need one big hit," Atlanta third baseman Chris Johnson
said. "It's just a matter of time before guys start getting hot. We
just have to keep working at it and trying to do the little things
Johnson went 2-for-4 and scored a run, while second baseman Tyler
Pastornicky supplied an RBI single to give the Braves a 1-0 second
inning lead. Atlanta's other run scored on a double-play grounder
off the bat of shortstop Andrelton Simmons in the fourth.
St. Louis responded each time. Adams doubled off the glove of center
fielder B.J. Upton in the second to score Craig, and Santana tossed
a two-out wild pitch in the fourth, enabling Craig to tie the game
Closer Trevor Rosenthal pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning with two
strikeouts for his 12th save in 13 chances.
NOTES: St. Louis RHP Jason Motte (elbow) pitched two scoreless
innings on Thursday night during his rehab assignment for Triple-A
Memphis. Motte was in St. Louis on Friday and could be activated as
early as Sunday. ... Wednesday's 10-4 loss at San Francisco marked
the first time in 19 games, dating to 2013, that Atlanta lost when
scoring first. ... RHP David Aardsma, who could have opted out of
his contract with the Cardinals on Thursday had they not brought him
up to the majors, elected to stay at Memphis.
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