Atlanta at St. Louis

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Atlanta (20-13) «2030001100029130
St. Louis (20-12)0102300100007131

Braves beat Cardinals in 12 innings, ruin celebration of ex-manager La Russa

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- The way Carlos Beltran was swinging, Atlanta Braves relievers felt as if they had to face the St. Louis Cardinals' cleanup man every inning.

Jason Heyward got the swing that really counted, hitting a two-run homer in the 12th inning of a 9-7 victory Friday night, putting a damper on the Cardinals' celebration honoring former manager Tony La Russa.

"I thought Beltran was going to beat us every time he came to the plate, and he almost did," Heyward said. "I just got enough of it. I tried to stay simple, not try to do too much."

Dan Uggla homered and Michael Bourn had three hits for the Braves. Craig Kimbrel gave up a hit, but struck out two for his NL-leading 11th save in 12 chances.

Beltran homered twice during a four-hit day for the Cardinals that also included a two-run triple. Matt Carpenter and Allen Craig also went deep.

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"Anytime you're seeing it well, it's a good feeling," Beltran said. "Unfortunately, we just couldn't finish them off."

A sellout crowd was on hand to watch the Cardinals retire La Russa's No. 10 in a pregame ceremony that included several of the managers' former players. But seven Atlanta relievers combined for 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball, helping the Braves end a seven-game losing streak in St. Louis that included a three-game sweep last September that propelled the Cardinals past Atlanta for the NL wild card on the way to their second World Series championship in five years.

"They've had a good team here for years and they have another good team," Heyward said. "Our pitchers hung in there, our defense hung in there."

St. Louis loaded the bases in the 10th and 11th, but came up empty against Livan Hernandez (1-0). Pinch-hitter David Freese grounded into an inning-ending double play to end the 10th and Craig popped out to second to end the 11th.

"We had some opportunities to finish it off," manager Mike Matheny said. "We just couldn't make it happen."

Chipper Jones, who got a standing ovation before his first at-bat to begin his final scheduled series in St. Louis, walked against Kyle McClellan (0-1) to start the 12th. Heyward followed with his fifth homer to the power alley in left-center, close to the wall decal of La Russa unveiled several hours earlier.

Beltran tied it at 7 in the eighth, driving Jonny Venters' pitch to the visitors' bullpen in left-center. Beltran's team-high 12th homer was the first of the year off Venters, who hit his first batter of the year later in the eighth.

Beltran had a grand slam and six RBIs in a two-homer game at Arizona on Tuesday. He now has 33 career multihomer games, including three this season, and has 10 homers and 31 RBI in 91 career at-bats at 7-year-old Busch Stadium.

He's 11 for 26 (.423) during a six-game hitting streak.

"From the eighth inning on, it seemed like Beltran hit every inning," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "I was looking to see if somebody was batting out of order over there.

"Every time we left a mistake out over the plate, he hurt us."

The Cardinals are the majors' second-highest scoring team and the Braves are third, and the matchup lived up to that billing.

The Braves scored twice on passed balls in the first when Yadier Molina couldn't track down Jaime Garcia pitches that darted. Atlanta then doubled four times in a span of five at-bats in the third to give Mike Minor a 5-1 lead.

Beltran and Craig homered in a span of three pitches in the fourth for St. Louis, which chased Minor with four consecutive two-out hits in the fifth. Beltran's 11th homer was estimated at 454 feet, second-longest at Busch, and his triple in the fifth put the Cardinals up 6-5.

Uggla hit his fifth homer off the facade in the second deck in left against Marc Rzepczynski in the seventh and Freddie Freeman's infield hit with the bases loaded put Atlanta up 7-6 in the eighth.

Minor's last three outings have been the worst of his short career. He surrendered six runs in 4 2/3 innings, his shortest outing of the season, and has an 11.81 ERA the last three while giving up 21 earned runs in 16 innings.

Garcia has been just as ineffective lately, allowing 12 earned runs in 10 2/3 innings his last two starts with a pair of no-decisions. Garcia gave up five runs, four earned, in 5 2/3 innings against Atlanta.

Notes

  • Carpenter started at 3B in place of Freese, who got a day off aside from the pinch-hit appearance.
  • The Cardinals had targeted Friday to activate 1B Lance Berkman (calf) off the 15-day disabled list, but he remains day to day.
  • Braves pinch-hitter Eric Hinske was ejected after striking out in the eighth and arguing that he had checked his swing. Hinske is 3 for 18 as a pinch hitter and the Braves are 8 for 51 overall (.157).
  • Craig has four homers in five games.
 
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Jason Heyward (right) is greeted by Chipper Jones after hitting the two-run home run in the 12th inning. (US Presswire)
Jason Heyward (right) is greeted by Chipper Jones after hitting the two-run home run in the 12th inning. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

C. Beltran
AB 5
R 2
H 4
HR 2
RBI 4
Atlanta

J. Heyward
AB 6
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Michael Bourn, CF6130100 .326
Martin Prado, LF5110102 .280
Freddie Freeman, 1B4011220 .283
Dan Uggla, 2B6221037 .273
Brian McCann, C6111003 .225
Chipper Jones, 3B4221210 .305
Jason Heyward, RF6222024 .264
Tyler Pastornicky, SS5011000 .258
    Craig Kimbrel, P0000000 .000
Mike Minor, P2000001 .063
    Chad Durbin, P0000000 .000
   a- Juan Francisco, PH1000000 .229
    Cristhian Martinez, P0000000 .000
    Kris Medlen, P00000001.000
   b- Eric Hinske, PH1000011 .368
    Jonny Venters, P0000000 .000
    Eric O'Flaherty, P0000000 .000
   c- Matt Diaz, PH1000000 .281
    Livan Hernandez, P0000000 .000
   d- Jack Wilson, PH-SS1000000 .154
Totals48913769  
a-lined out for Durbin in the 6th
b-struck out for Medlen in the 8th
c-flied out for O'Flaherty in the 10th
d-flied out for Hernandez in the 12th
Batting
2B - Michael Bourn (8, Garcia), Martin Prado (9, Garcia), Dan Uggla (6, Garcia), Brian McCann (3, Garcia), Tyler Pastornicky (5, Garcia)
HR - Dan Uggla (5, Rzepczynski), Jason Heyward (5, McClellan)
SH - Tyler Pastornicky (2)
RBI - Freddie Freeman (27), Dan Uggla (20), Brian McCann (18), Chipper Jones (22), Jason Heyward 2 (15), Tyler Pastornicky (10)
2-OUT RBI - Freddie Freeman (8), Tyler Pastornicky (4)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Pastornicky-Uggla-Freeman
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Mike Minor 4.2866073 6.59
Chad Durbin 0.1000010 8.03
Cristhian Martinez 1000000 2.81
Kris Medlen 1000020 2.29
Jonny Venters (BS,1) 1111101 2.19
Eric O'Flaherty 1100000 5.84
Livan Hernandez (W,1-0) 2200410 3.38
Craig Kimbrel (S,11) 1100020 2.77
IBB - Craig by Livan Hernandez, by M. Carpenter
HBP - M. Carpenter (by Jonny Venters)
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Minor 95-60, Chad Durbin 5-3, Cristhian Martinez 8-5, Kris Medlen 16-10, Jonny Venters 20-10, Eric O'Flaherty 11-7, Livan Hernandez 43-19, Craig Kimbrel 14-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Minor 1-6, Cristhian Martinez 1-2, Jonny Venters 2-1, Eric O'Flaherty 2-1, Livan Hernandez 2-2, Craig Kimbrel 1-0
Batters Faced - Mike Minor 22, Chad Durbin 1, Cristhian Martinez 3, Kris Medlen 3, Jonny Venters 6, Eric O'Flaherty 4, Livan Hernandez 11, Craig Kimbrel 4
St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Rafael Furcal, SS5120000 .362
Jon Jay, CF6120022 .376
Matt Holliday, LF5111122 .263
Carlos Beltran, RF5244111 .307
Allen Craig, 1B4111224 .323
Yadier Molina, C5010011 .297
Matt Carpenter, 3B4111111 .268
Tyler Greene, 2B4000012 .211
    Jason Motte, P0000000 .000
   a- David Freese, PH1000001 .309
    Kyle McClellan, P0000000 .000
   b- Shane Robinson, PH1000011 .311
Jaime Garcia, P2000010 .250
    Victor Marte, P0000000 .000
    Marc Rzepczynski, P0000000 .000
   c- Daniel Descalso, PH1000010 .197
    Mitchell Boggs, P0000000 .000
    Skip Schumaker, 2B3010001 .314
Totals467137513  
a-grounded into a double play for Motte in the 10th
b-struck out for McClellan in the 12th
c-struck out for Rzepczynski in the 7th
Batting
2B - Matt Holliday (6, Minor), Carlos Beltran (2, Hernandez)
3B - Carlos Beltran (1, Minor)
HR - Carlos Beltran 2 (12, Minor, Venters), Allen Craig (4, Minor), Matt Carpenter (2, Minor)
SH - Rafael Furcal (2), Yadier Molina (2)
RBI - Matt Holliday (23), Carlos Beltran 4 (31), Allen Craig (12), Matt Carpenter (17)
2-OUT RBI - Matt Holliday (7), Carlos Beltran 2 (13), Matt Carpenter (8)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
PB - Yadier Molina 2 (3)
E - Matt Holliday (1, Misplayed grounder)
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jaime Garcia 5.2954250 4.09
Victor Marte (H,5) 0.1000000 2.57
Marc Rzepczynski (BS,2) 1111001 2.45
Mitchell Boggs 1211220 2.57
Jason Motte 2000020 1.98
Kyle McClellan (L,0-1) 2122201 4.24
IBB - Bourn by Mitchell Boggs
WP - Jaime Garcia (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Jaime Garcia 101-65, Victor Marte 2-1, Marc Rzepczynski 16-10, Mitchell Boggs 31-15, Jason Motte 33-21, Kyle McClellan 31-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jaime Garcia 6-6, Marc Rzepczynski 2-1, Mitchell Boggs 1-0, Jason Motte 1-3, Kyle McClellan 3-3
Batters Faced - Jaime Garcia 28, Victor Marte 1, Marc Rzepczynski 4, Mitchell Boggs 7, Jason Motte 6, Kyle McClellan 9
Game Information
Attendance - 45190
Game Time - 3:56
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Mike Muchlinski, First Base - Wally Bell, Second Base - Brian Knight, Third Base - Mike Winters