|Atlanta (57-73) «||0||0||1||0||0||2||0||2||3||8||14||0|
|St. Louis (72-59)||0||0||2||0||1||0||0||1||0||4||11||0|
ST. LOUIS -- The Atlanta Braves have no intentions of giving up this season.
Pinch-hitter Greg Norton delivered a tiebreaking single with two outs in the eighth inning, and Atlanta beat the St. Louis Cardinals 8-4 on Saturday to snap a six-game losing streak.
"Hopefully, the fans can sit back and watch us today because we're busting our butts," Jeff Francoeur said. "We're going to play hard."
Albert Pujols homered and drove in three runs for the Cardinals, who dropped 3½ games behind Milwaukee, the NL wild-card leader.
Buddy Carlyle (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings for the win in relief of starter Jorge Campillo. It marked the ninth time in his past 10 appearances that Carlyle has kept an opponent from scoring.
Mike Gonzalez got four outs for his sixth save, securing Atlanta's second victory in 13 games. It came after Friday's 18-3 drubbing -- the first time in five years that the Braves gave up as many as 18 runs.
"You're not going to see everything fall like you did (Friday)," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "We had a lot of chances. At the end of the game we had a lapse. It would have been nice to go one run down to see if we could have rallied."
Rain delayed this one for 49 minutes in the top of the ninth. When play resumed, Atlanta scored three times with two outs, sparked by Kelly Johnson's dogged at-bat.
Johnson saw 14 pitches from reliever Russ Springer, fouling off eight consecutive 3-2 deliveries before drawing a bases-loaded walk. Francoeur then singled up the middle to drive in the final two runs, making it 8-4.
That all came after Martin Prado turned what could have been a simple groundout to second into an infield single by hustling.
"They have been doing that," Braves manager Bobby Cox said, adding that Prado is playing with a groin injury. "They don't get credit for it because we're losing, but I've always been proud of them. We've gone through hell here the last couple of weeks. They haven't lost their concentration or their desire to win."
Cardinals second baseman Felipe Lopez said he wasn't sure if Prado was safe, but the play developed slowly because he had to wait for Pujols to cover first. Lopez double pumped before tossing to Pujols.
"He was playing deep and I kind of had to wait a little bit to throw the ball," Lopez said. "Obviously, I don't want to hit him in the back while he's running to the bag."
Kyle McClellan (2-6) walked Johnson in the eighth and a wild pitch put runners at second and third. Norton's two-run single, just under Lopez's glove, on a two-strike pitch gave the Braves a 5-3 lead.
Lopez hit an RBI double in the bottom half to cut it to 5-4.
Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings. Prado's two-run single off Lohse tied the score at 3 in the sixth.
Pujols hit a two-run double in the third and added a solo homer in the fifth to give St. Louis a 3-1 lead.
The home run was Pujols' seventh hit in seven consecutive at-bats over a three-game span. He walked once Friday in four plate appearances.
Left fielder Gregor Blanco ended the streak with a diving catch to end the seventh.
|Players of the Game|
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|Gregor Blanco, LF||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.257|
|Yunel Escobar, SS||5||0||3||0||0||0||1||.290|
|Chipper Jones, 3B||5||1||2||1||0||0||3||.360|
|Brian McCann, C||4||2||1||0||1||0||3||.298|
|Mark Kotsay, CF||4||1||1||0||1||0||3||.289|
|Martin Prado, 1B||5||2||3||2||0||0||0||.333|
|Kelly Johnson, 2B||3||1||0||1||2||0||1||.264|
|Jeff Francoeur, RF||4||0||1||2||1||2||3||.228|
|Jorge Campillo, P||2||1||1||0||0||1||0||.194|
|a- Omar Infante, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||3||.305|
|Buddy Carlyle, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.250|
|b- Greg Norton, PH||1||0||1||2||0||0||0||.256|
|Will Ohman, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jeff Bennett, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.222|
|Mike Gonzalez, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.000|
|a-grounded out for Campillo in the 6th|
|b-singled for Carlyle in the 8th|
|2B - Gregor Blanco (11, Lohse), Chipper Jones (17, Lohse), Mark Kotsay (17, McClellan)|
|SH - Gregor Blanco (4)|
|RBI - Chipper Jones (63), Martin Prado 2 (20), Kelly Johnson (50), Jeff Francoeur 2 (57), Greg Norton 2 (27)|
|2-OUT RBI - Chipper Jones (12), Kelly Johnson (16), Jeff Francoeur 2 (24), Greg Norton 2 (9)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|DP - Escobar-Johnson-Prado|
|Buddy Carlyle (W,1-0)||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||3.42|
|Will Ohman (H,16)||0.1||2||1||1||0||0||0||3.35|
|Jeff Bennett (H,8)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||4.24|
|Mike Gonzalez (S,6)||1.1||1||0||0||0||0||0||3.54|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jorge Campillo 100-67, Buddy Carlyle 25-19, Will Ohman 6-4, Jeff Bennett 4-3, Mike Gonzalez 13-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jorge Campillo 5-9, Buddy Carlyle 4-1, Jeff Bennett 1-0, Mike Gonzalez 2-2|
|Batters Faced - Jorge Campillo 24, Buddy Carlyle 6, Will Ohman 3, Jeff Bennett 1, Mike Gonzalez 5|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Skip Schumaker, CF||3||1||1||0||1||0||0||.310|
|a- Brian Barton, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.252|
|Ryan Ludwick, RF||5||1||1||0||0||0||2||.308|
|Albert Pujols, 1B||5||1||3||3||0||0||1||.356|
|Rick Ankiel, LF||3||0||0||0||0||0||2||.273|
|b- Joe Mather, PH-LF||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||.252|
|Troy Glaus, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||0||2||.277|
|Felipe Lopez, 2B||3||0||1||1||1||1||1||.246|
|Yadier Molina, C||4||0||2||0||0||0||3||.310|
|Kyle Lohse, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.059|
|c- Adam Kennedy, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.276|
|Ron Villone, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Kyle McClellan, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|d- Aaron Miles, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.311|
|Ryan Franklin, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Russ Springer, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Cesar Izturis, SS||4||0||0||0||0||0||4||.255|
|a-singled for Schumaker in the 9th|
|b-doubled for Ankiel in the 8th|
|c-hit into fielder's choice for Lohse in the 6th|
|d-popped out for McClellan in the 8th|
|2B - Albert Pujols 2 (34, Campillo, Campillo), Joe Mather (6, Ohman), Felipe Lopez (22, Ohman)|
|HR - Albert Pujols (27, Campillo)|
|SH - Kyle Lohse 2 (8)|
|RBI - Albert Pujols 3 (85), Felipe Lopez (28)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - F. Lopez-Izturis-Pujols|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Kyle McClellan (L,2-6)||1||2||2||2||1||1||0||3.21|
|WP - Kyle Lohse (3), Kyle McClellan (5)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Lohse 90-59, Ron Villone 15-10, Kyle McClellan 22-14, Ryan Franklin 7-6, Russ Springer 28-18|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Lohse 10-4, Ron Villone 1-2, Kyle McClellan 2-0, Ryan Franklin 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Kyle Lohse 27, Ron Villone 4, Kyle McClellan 6, Ryan Franklin 3, Russ Springer 5|
|Attendance - 44074|
|Game Time - 3:13|
|Temperature - 91|
|Umpires - Home - Paul Emmel, First Base - Bill Miller, Second Base - Jerry Meals, Third Base - Gary Darling|