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ATLANTA -- Freddie Freeman wasn't surprised his new glasses were a big hit. He just feared his swing might be rusty.
Freeman, who had missed four straight starts because of vision problems, was elated about receiving his new sports glasses before the game. He was so excited he rushed to the batting cage early Wednesday afternoon to test the glasses before taking off the shorts and polo shirt he wore to the stadium.
The first baseman broke out of a slump with three hits: his eighth homer in the first, a run-scoring double in the third and run-scoring single in the eighth.
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"I was surprised about how I hadn't played in a few days and was able to have my swing like that," Freeman said. "I wasn't worried about the glasses. I knew they were good."
Following the game, the Braves optioned rookie shortstop Tyler Pastornicky to Triple-A Gwinnett. Andrelton Simmons, who is hitting .292 at Double-A Mississippi, was called up and is expected to take over the starting job.
General manager Frank Wren said Simmons, who is known for his defense, has "special talents" at shortstop.
Pastornicky is hitting .248 with seven errors.
The Braves, who snapped an eight-game losing streak on Tuesday night, gave up a 5-0 lead, then scored three runs in the sixth. Brian McCann's two-run single highlighted the rally.
McCann, who had a two-run homer in the first, drove in four runs.
"We went through a stretch," Freeman said of the losing streak. "Everybody goes through a stretch in the season. Hopefully that was our longest one. ... It's how you minimize those and we bounced back like a winning team does."
After Freeman's homer, Tim Hudson and other teammates made circles in front of their eyes, pretending to wear glasses, as they welcomed him to the dugout. Freeman said before the game he didn't care if he looked different in glasses.
"I can see and that's all that matters," he said.
Hudson said Freeman "came in and did what he did. He plays great first base and he's some of our thump in the lineup."
The Braves broke a 5-all tie with three runs on four hits off Mark Rzepczynski (0-3) in the sixth. Jack Wilson's double drove in Jose Constanza, who reached first on his third hit and moved to second on a wild pitch.
Wilson was caught in a run-down between third and home on Michael Bourn's grounder, but he kept the play going long enough for Bourn to advance to second. Following an intentional walk to Martin Prado, McCann drove in Bourn and Prado with a single for an 8-5 lead.
The Braves added two runs in the eighth off Jason Motte, who set up the inning with walks to Eric Hinske and Bourn. Dan Uggla drove in one with a sac fly and Freeman finished the scoring by knocking in Bourn.
"The bottom line is seven runs should win a lot of games," said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. "We're not doing what we need to do to give us a chance. Some adjustments have to be made."
Atlanta led 5-0 before the Cardinals managed their first hit.
McCann hit a two-run homer in the first. One out later, Freeman cleared the center-field wall off Kyle Lohse.
With two outs in the third and Uggla on first base following his single, Freeman hit a high pop fly into the wind, blowing in from left field.
Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday sprinted toward the infield but couldn't catch up as the wind blew the ball away from the outfield, dropping in shallow left field for a double that scored Uggla.
Constanza added a run-scoring single.
Rafael Furcal led off the fourth with a single for the Cardinals' first hit. Holliday drove in Furcal with a one-out single.
Tyler Green's two-run, bases-loaded single was the big hit in the Cardinals' four-run sixth off Hudson. Holliday and Daniel Descalso also had RBI singles.
Hudson gave up five runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings.
"I'm not happy with my outcome personally," Hudson said.
"It seems like the last couple of games every baserunner I've had has scored."
Lohse allowed five runs on nine hits in five innings.
Right fielder Skip Schumaker left the game after the sixth inning with tightness in his right hamstring.
|Vision problems no more, Freddie Freeman sports his new glasses and the results are clear: three hits, one HR and three RBI. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Rafael Furcal, SS||5||2||2||0||0||1||3||.333|
|Skip Schumaker, RF||3||1||1||0||0||1||0||.321|
|a- David Freese, PH-3B||2||0||0||0||0||1||1||.267|
|Matt Holliday, LF||5||1||2||2||0||3||1||.281|
|Yadier Molina, C||5||1||1||0||0||1||3||.333|
|Matt Adams, 1B||4||1||0||0||1||0||2||.317|
|Tyler Greene, 2B-RF||4||1||1||2||0||0||0||.227|
|Daniel Descalso, 3B-2B||3||0||1||1||1||0||0||.234|
|Shane Robinson, CF||3||0||0||1||0||0||2||.243|
|Kyle Lohse, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.050|
|b- Adron Chambers, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.222|
|Marc Rzepczynski, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Steve Hill, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.200|
|Mitchell Boggs, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|d- Carlos Beltran, PH||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||.294|
|Jake Westbrook, PR||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.158|
|Jason Motte, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-flied out for Schumaker in the 7th|
|b-singled for Lohse in the 6th|
|c-grounded out for Rzepczynski in the 7th|
|d-singled for Boggs in the 8th|
|SF - Shane Robinson (1)|
|RBI - Matt Holliday 2 (34), Tyler Greene 2 (14), Daniel Descalso (8), Shane Robinson (7), Carlos Beltran (42)|
|2-OUT RBI - Tyler Greene 2 (5), Daniel Descalso (3), Carlos Beltran (16)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - T. Greene-Furcal-Adams|
|PB - Yadier Molina (4)|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Marc Rzepczynski (L,0-3)||1||4||3||3||1||0||0||4.66|
|IBB - Prado by Marc Rzepczynski, McCann by Jason Motte|
|WP - Marc Rzepczynski (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Lohse 79-55, Marc Rzepczynski 29-15, Mitchell Boggs 12-7, Jason Motte 20-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Lohse 5-6, Marc Rzepczynski 3-0, Mitchell Boggs 2-1, Jason Motte 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Kyle Lohse 24, Marc Rzepczynski 8, Mitchell Boggs 3, Jason Motte 7|
|Michael Bourn, CF||4||2||1||0||1||0||1||.299|
|Martin Prado, 3B||3||2||2||0||1||1||1||.332|
|Brian McCann, C||4||1||2||4||1||0||2||.247|
|Dan Uggla, 2B||4||1||2||1||0||1||0||.267|
|Freddie Freeman, 1B||5||2||3||3||0||0||2||.257|
|Jason Heyward, RF||4||0||0||0||1||2||2||.233|
|Jose Constanza, LF||4||1||3||1||0||0||0||.400|
|Jack Wilson, SS||4||0||1||1||0||0||3||.172|
|Tim Hudson, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.071|
|Jonny Venters, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Matt Diaz, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.259|
|Chad Durbin, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Eric O'Flaherty, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Eric Hinske, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.233|
|Tyler Pastornicky, PR||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||.248|
|Craig Kimbrel, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-grounded out for Venters in the 6th|
|b-walked for O'Flaherty in the 8th|
|2B - Michael Bourn (10, Lohse), Freddie Freeman (12, Lohse), Jack Wilson (1, Rzepczynski)|
|HR - Brian McCann (7, Lohse), Freddie Freeman (8, Lohse)|
|SF - Dan Uggla (2)|
|SH - Martin Prado (2), Tim Hudson (2)|
|RBI - Brian McCann 4 (28), Dan Uggla (31), Freddie Freeman 3 (35), Jose Constanza (1), Jack Wilson (4)|
|2-OUT RBI - Brian McCann 2 (12), Freddie Freeman 3 (14), Jose Constanza (1)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|E - Dan Uggla (7, Misplayed grounder), Jack Wilson (1, Misplayed grounder)|
|Jonny Venters (BS,2; W,3-2)||0.1||1||0||0||0||0||0||3.66|
|Chad Durbin (H,4)||1||1||0||0||0||1||0||5.12|
|Eric O'Flaherty (H,7)||1||2||2||0||1||1||0||3.86|
|Craig Kimbrel (S,15)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||1.89|
|Pitches-Strikes - Tim Hudson 73-46, Jonny Venters 5-3, Chad Durbin 15-9, Eric O'Flaherty 26-14, Craig Kimbrel 18-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Hudson 7-6, Chad Durbin 1-1, Eric O'Flaherty 2-1, Craig Kimbrel 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Tim Hudson 24, Jonny Venters 2, Chad Durbin 4, Eric O'Flaherty 7, Craig Kimbrel 4|
|Attendance - 28474|
|Game Time - 2:44|
|Temperature - 89|
|Umpires - Home - Manny Gonzalez, First Base - Greg Gibson, Second Base - Gerry Davis, Third Base - Phil Cuzzi|