Atlanta at St. Louis

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Atlanta (8-14)000102100481
St. Louis (15-7) «30014110x10100

Freese, Cardinals send Braves to ninth consecutive defeat

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

ST. LOUIS -- David Freese waited so long for his first home run, St. Louis Cardinals pitchers were teasing him.

That business is out of the way after the rookie's six-RBI day fueled a 10-4 victory Thursday that sent the Atlanta Braves skidding to their ninth consecutive loss.

"I put my two cents in," Freese said. "Obviously, getting that first homer is always the toughest. I was just trying not to worry about it."

The Braves wrapped up an 0-7 trip, their first winless swing of seven or more games since September 1949 when the franchise was located in Boston and went 0-8 in Philadelphia and Brooklyn.

"I don't think I've ever been on one like this," manager Bobby Cox said. "Probably have, but it's not going to be in our memory, that's for sure.

"It was a lousy trip. It's been a horrible experience to endure."

Adam Wainwright (4-1) worked six solid innings, keeping the ball down for the most part to mitigate high swirling winds, as the Cardinals completed a four-game sweep. With Albert Pujols getting his first day off, St. Louis still won its fifth in a row and swept Atlanta for the first time since 1993.

"It's like winning a doubleheader, right?" manager Tony La Russa said. "Albert gets his rest and it's a nice lineup we put out there."

Jair Jurrjens (0-3) strained his left hamstring and lasted only one inning for Atlanta, although he was hopeful he wouldn't miss a turn in the rotation. Jurrjens said the hamstring bothered him during warmups.

"I was cautious about it, I tried not to put so much pressure on it," Jurrjens said. "I tried to all-arm it and it wasn't working so well."

The Braves lost 10 consecutive in 2006 - they can match skid Friday night at home against Houston.

"It's probably the worst road trip ever," Eric Hinske said. "You can't blame it on anything. Maybe it's good we're doing this in April and not in September."

The Braves have totaled 17 runs during their slump. Rookie Jason Heyward returned after one game on the bench and had two hits, including the first homer allowed by Cardinals pitching in 10 games at home this season.

Wainwright, a first-round pick of the Braves in 2000, is 5-0 with a 2.00 ERA against Atlanta in eight games. Yadier Molina helped out with two hits and two RBI and Colby Rasmus scored four times.

Freese's day was the biggest by a Cardinals rookie since at least 1957, when rookie qualifications were established, the Elias Sports Bureau said. Freese has eight RBI the last two games, getting two RBI Wednesday on his 27th birthday, and 14 on the season.

The Cardinals acquired Freese from San Diego for Jim Edmonds after 2007 and he won the third-base job this spring.

Freese hit a three-run homer off the right-field foul pole with two outs in the first off Jurrjens, his first of the year and the first of his career at Busch Stadium. Freese added a three-run double off Jesse Chavez in the fifth.

"That's why I'm here, to drive in runs and score runs," Freese said. "They put me out there to do a job and that's what I've got to keep thinking."

The Cardinals scored in double figures for the first time since an 11-6 opening day victory at Cincinnati. They last swept Atlanta in a four-game series Aug. 14-16, 1989, including a doubleheader. The 1993 sweep was in a three-game set.

St. Louis' string of not allowing a homer at home was the majors' longest to start the season since the Chicago White Sox also did it the first nine games of 1972, according to Elias. Both streaks lasted 98 innings.

Jurrjens is 0-3 and has given up 17 earned runs in 19 innings in four day starts. He induced two quick outs in the first, then hit Matt Holliday and gave up a single to Rasmus before Freese connected on a 1-1 pitch.

Freese had a six-RBI game last season for Triple-A Memphis.

Notes

  • Heyward's homer was the Braves' first in nine games.
  • Molina has 15 RBI this month, matching his career best in 2007.
  • Cardinals pitchers have allowed an NL-low 10 homers, and Heyward's homer was only the second off St. Louis in 151 innings.
  • Braves SS Yunel Escobar strained a left groin muscle and was pulled for a pinch hitter after making an off-balance throw to nip Joe Mather in the seventh. Escobar said through a translator that he might miss a few games.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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David Freese has the biggest day by a Cards rookie since at least 1957, when rookie qualifications began.  (AP)
David Freese has the biggest day by a Cards rookie since at least 1957, when rookie qualifications began. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

D. Freese
AB 3
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 6
Atlanta

J. Heyward
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Atlanta Braves
Melky Cabrera, LF3000100 .189
Yunel Escobar, SS3120012 .215
   a- Troy Glaus, PH-1B1000000 .200
Martin Prado, 2B3210101 .360
Brian McCann, C4010010 .250
Eric Hinske, 1B-3B4012012 .308
Omar Infante, 3B-SS4011001 .267
Jason Heyward, RF4121001 .239
Nate McLouth, CF4000011 .148
Jair Jurrjens, P0000000 .000
    Kris Medlen, P0000000 .000
   b- Brooks Conrad, PH1000000 .222
    Jesse Chavez, P0000000 .000
   c- Matt Diaz, PH1000000 .196
    Peter Moylan, P0000000 .000
    Takashi Saito, P0000000 .000
Totals3248424  
a-grounded out for Escobar in the 8th
b-flied out for Medlen in the 5th
c-grounded out for J. Chavez in the 7th
Batting
2B - Omar Infante (3, Wainwright)
HR - Jason Heyward (5, Reyes)
SH - Kris Medlen (1)
RBI - Eric Hinske 2 (8), Omar Infante (3), Jason Heyward (17)
2-OUT RBI - Omar Infante (2)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Escobar-Hinske
E - Omar Infante (2, Misplayed grounder)
Atlanta Braves
Jair Jurrjens (L,0-3) 1233001 6.38
Kris Medlen 3211120 3.07
Jesse Chavez 2555121 4.76
Peter Moylan 1111210 2.70
Takashi Saito 1000010 3.00
IBB - Rasmus by Jesse Chavez
HBP - Holliday (by Jair Jurrjens)
Pitches-Strikes - Jair Jurrjens 14-11, Kris Medlen 44-26, Jesse Chavez 49-30, Peter Moylan 28-18, Takashi Saito 12-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jair Jurrjens 2-1, Kris Medlen 4-2, Peter Moylan 2-0, Takashi Saito 3-0
Batters Faced - Jair Jurrjens 6, Kris Medlen 11, Jesse Chavez 12, Peter Moylan 6, Takashi Saito 4
St. Louis Cardinals
Skip Schumaker, 2B5000000 .207
Ryan Ludwick, RF5110031 .294
Matt Holliday, LF4210011 .274
    Trever Miller, P0000000 .000
Colby Rasmus, CF2420200 .344
David Freese, 3B3236100 .328
Yadier Molina, C-1B3022100 .257
Joe Mather, 1B-LF4001002 .150
Adam Wainwright, P2000001 .143
   a- Jon Jay, PH1000010 .000
    Dennys Reyes, P0000000 .000
    Blake Hawksworth, P1000012 .000
    Jason LaRue, C0000000 .000
Tyler Greene, SS4111000 .250
Totals3410101046  
a-struck out for Wainwright in the 6th
Batting
2B - Matt Holliday (5, J. Chavez), David Freese (3, J. Chavez), Yadier Molina (3, J. Chavez)
HR - David Freese (1, Jurrjens), Tyler Greene (1, J. Chavez)
RBI - David Freese 6 (14), Yadier Molina 2 (15), Joe Mather (1), Tyler Greene (1)
2-OUT RBI - David Freese 6 (9), Yadier Molina (5)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Wainwright-T. Greene-Mather, Freese-Schumaker-Mather
St. Louis Cardinals
Adam Wainwright (W,4-1) 6633240 2.13
Dennys Reyes 0.1111001 1.42
Blake Hawksworth 1.2100000 0.00
Trever Miller 1000000 1.93
Pitches-Strikes - Adam Wainwright 78-50, Dennys Reyes 8-4, Blake Hawksworth 17-10, Trever Miller 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Adam Wainwright 6-6, Dennys Reyes 1-0, Blake Hawksworth 3-2, Trever Miller 1-2
Batters Faced - Adam Wainwright 24, Dennys Reyes 2, Blake Hawksworth 6, Trever Miller 3
Game Information
Attendance - 39561
Game Time - 2:33
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Dale Scott, First Base - Jerry Meals, Second Base - Mark Wegner, Third Base - Dan Iassogna