|Atlanta (20-13) «||2||0||3||0||0||0||1||1||0||0||0||2||9||13||0|
|St. Louis (20-12)||0||1||0||2||3||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||7||13||1|
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."
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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.
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.
|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|
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|Michael Bourn, CF||6||1||3||0||1||0||0||.326|
|Martin Prado, LF||5||1||1||0||1||0||2||.280|
|Freddie Freeman, 1B||4||0||1||1||2||2||0||.283|
|Dan Uggla, 2B||6||2||2||1||0||3||7||.273|
|Brian McCann, C||6||1||1||1||0||0||3||.225|
|Chipper Jones, 3B||4||2||2||1||2||1||0||.305|
|Jason Heyward, RF||6||2||2||2||0||2||4||.264|
|Tyler Pastornicky, SS||5||0||1||1||0||0||0||.258|
|Craig Kimbrel, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Mike Minor, P||2||0||0||0||0||0||1||.063|
|Chad Durbin, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Juan Francisco, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.229|
|Cristhian Martinez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Kris Medlen, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1.000|
|b- Eric Hinske, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.368|
|Jonny Venters, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Eric O'Flaherty, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Matt Diaz, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.281|
|Livan Hernandez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|d- Jack Wilson, PH-SS||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.154|
|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|
|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|
|DP - Pastornicky-Uggla-Freeman|
|Jonny Venters (BS,1)||1||1||1||1||1||0||1||2.19|
|Livan Hernandez (W,1-0)||2||2||0||0||4||1||0||3.38|
|Craig Kimbrel (S,11)||1||1||0||0||0||2||0||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|
|Rafael Furcal, SS||5||1||2||0||0||0||0||.362|
|Jon Jay, CF||6||1||2||0||0||2||2||.376|
|Matt Holliday, LF||5||1||1||1||1||2||2||.263|
|Carlos Beltran, RF||5||2||4||4||1||1||1||.307|
|Allen Craig, 1B||4||1||1||1||2||2||4||.323|
|Yadier Molina, C||5||0||1||0||0||1||1||.297|
|Matt Carpenter, 3B||4||1||1||1||1||1||1||.268|
|Tyler Greene, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.211|
|Jason Motte, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- David Freese, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.309|
|Kyle McClellan, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Shane Robinson, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.311|
|Jaime Garcia, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||.250|
|Victor Marte, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Marc Rzepczynski, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Daniel Descalso, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.197|
|Mitchell Boggs, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Skip Schumaker, 2B||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||.314|
|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|
|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|
|PB - Yadier Molina 2 (3)|
|E - Matt Holliday (1, Misplayed grounder)|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Victor Marte (H,5)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||2.57|
|Marc Rzepczynski (BS,2)||1||1||1||1||0||0||1||2.45|
|Kyle McClellan (L,0-1)||2||1||2||2||2||0||1||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|
|Attendance - 45190|
|Game Time - 3:56|
|Temperature - 76|
|Umpires - Home - Mike Muchlinski, First Base - Wally Bell, Second Base - Brian Knight, Third Base - Mike Winters|