Atlanta at St. Louis

Scoreboard
Atlanta (77-50)000020000291
St. Louis (74-53) «00013110x690

Cardinals keep rolling with easy win over Braves

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- Joe Kelly had to fight all night long. He had just enough to lead St. Louis to another big win.

Kelly pitched six effective innings, Matt Holliday broke out of a slump with two doubles and the Cardinals beat the Atlanta Braves 6-2 on Thursday.

"I didn't have any of my good stuff," said Kelly, who threw 109 pitches. "From pitch one to the last pitch nothing was easy."

Kelly (5-3) allowed two runs and seven hits while improving to 5-0 with a 1.79 ERA in his last seven starts. St. Louis improved to 7-1 in Kelly's eight starts since he rejoined the rotation on July 6.

"We needed a solid outing from him and he was very good," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. "He did a nice job for us."

The NL East-leading Braves played without Jason Heyward, who is out with a broken right jaw after he was beaned during Wednesday's 4-1 win at the New York Mets. The outfielder had surgery on Thursday in Atlanta and could miss the rest of the regular season.

The Braves had at least one batter reach in each of the first five innings, but couldn't come up with a big blow against Kelly, who struck out three and walked two.

"He did a good job of keeping us off balance," Atlanta outfielder Justin Upton said. "He threw his fastball in the zone and got the job done."

Kelly may not have been pleased with his effort, but his teammates certainly were impressed.

"He's like having a Ferrari in your garage," second baseman Matt Carpenter said. "He's settling in as a starter and he's running with it. I love it when he goes out there and competes. He's aggressive and he's pitching with confidence."

Upton hit his 24th homer, but the Braves lost for the second time in three games at the start of a six-game trip. Atlanta had won eight of its last nine regular-season games against St. Louis.

St. Louis slugger Matt Holliday went 2 for 3 and drove in a run, matching the amount of hits he had during a 2-for-24 slide over his previous six games. He doubled and scored in the fourth, then capped the Cardinals' three-run fifth with an RBI double that made it 4-2.

David Freese had a run-scoring groundout in the fourth for St. Louis, and then singled in a run in the seventh.

Paul Maholm (9-10) came off the disabled list and allowed five runs, four earned, and five hits in 5 1-3 innings for Atlanta. It was the first game for the left-hander since he left a July 20 start at the Chicago White Sox with a bruised left wrist.

"It was good to get back out there and compete against a tough lineup," Maholm said. "Hopefully in five days I'll be able to make some adjustments and get back out there."

Maholm helped himself with a leadoff single in the fifth. Upton then hit a one-out drive to left-center for his eighth homer this month, giving Atlanta a 2-1 lead.

St. Louis went back in front in the bottom half on consecutive run-scoring doubles by Carpenter, Carlos Beltran and Holliday. Pete Kozma sparked the big inning with a one-out walk.

"Getting hits like that in a row, it doesn't happen a lot," Beltran said. "We're concentrating more with guys in scoring position."

Notes

The Cardinals began a string of 17 consecutive games against opponents with winning records. ... St. Louis RHP Jake Westbrook is questionable for his next start Monday with back stiffness. ... INF Elliot Johnson made his first start for the Braves and broke out of an 0-for-31 slump with a second-inning single. He was claimed off waivers from Kansas City on Wednesday. ... Atlanta's Kris Medlen (10-11, 3.71 ERA) will face Adam Wainwright (14-7, 2.66 ERA) in the second game of the four-game set on Friday. ... Holliday grounded into his major league-leading 28th double play in the seventh.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Cardinals slugger Matt Holliday breaks out of a slump with two doubles, a walk and an RBI against the Braves. (USATSI)
Cardinals slugger Matt Holliday breaks out of a slump with two doubles, a walk and an RBI against the Braves. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

M. Holliday
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
Atlanta

J. Upton
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jordan Schafer, CF5000021 .276
Justin Upton, RF3112100 .270
Freddie Freeman, 1B3010101 .314
Chris Johnson, 3B3000112 .330
Brian McCann, C4020001 .274
Evan Gattis, LF4000022 .239
Andrelton Simmons, SS4020001 .248
Elliot Johnson, 2B4020001 .187
Paul Maholm, P2110002 .133
   a-B.J. Upton, PH1000000 .183
   b-Joe Terdoslavich, PH1000001 .250
Totals3429235  
a-grounded out for Downs in the 7th
b-grounded into a double play for Varvaro in the 9th
Batting
HR - Justin Upton (24, Kelly)
RBI - Justin Upton 2 (64)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Johnson-Johnson-Freeman
E - Andrelton Simmons (10, Throwing)
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Paul Maholm (L,9-10) 5.1554340 4.51
Luis Ayala 0.1000010 3.18
Scott Downs 0.1000000 1.69
Anthony Varvaro 2411110 3.14
WP - Luis Ayala (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Maholm 102-64, Luis Ayala 6-3, Scott Downs 2-2, Anthony Varvaro 29-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Maholm 10-3, Scott Downs 1-0, Anthony Varvaro 3-1
Batters Faced - Paul Maholm 25, Luis Ayala 1, Scott Downs 1, Anthony Varvaro 10
St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Matt Carpenter, 2B5221001 .312
Carlos Beltran, RF4121010 .309
Matt Holliday, LF3121101 .285
Allen Craig, 1B2000212 .309
David Freese, 3B4012002 .266
Shane Robinson, CF4110012 .275
Rob Johnson, C4000010 .179
Pete Kozma, SS1100100 .219
   a-Matt Adams, PH1000011 .281
   b-Kolten Wong, PH1000010 .263
Joe Kelly, P1000000 .158
   c-Daniel Descalso, PH-SS2010001 .254
Totals3269546  
a-struck out for Kozma in the 6th
b-struck out for Wacha in the 8th
c-grounded out for Kelly in the 6th
Batting
2B - Matt Carpenter (42, Maholm), Carlos Beltran (24, Maholm), Matt Holliday 2 (23, Maholm)
SH - Joe Kelly (4)
RBI - Matt Carpenter (64), Carlos Beltran (68), Matt Holliday (63), David Freese 2 (47)
2-OUT RBI - Matt Carpenter (29), Carlos Beltran (26), Matt Holliday (26), David Freese (22)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - M. Carpenter-Kozma-Craig, M. Carpenter-Kozma-Craig-Descalso-M. Carpenter-Craig
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Joe Kelly (W,5-3) 6722231 3.01
Kevin Siegrist (H,7) 1000110 0.67
Michael Wacha 1100010 4.55
Trevor Rosenthal 1100000 2.54
WP - Michael Wacha (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Kelly 109-64, Kevin Siegrist 18-10, Michael Wacha 15-7, Trevor Rosenthal 10-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Kelly 10-4, Kevin Siegrist 2-0, Michael Wacha 1-1, Trevor Rosenthal 2-0
Batters Faced - Joe Kelly 26, Kevin Siegrist 4, Michael Wacha 4, Trevor Rosenthal 3
Game Information
Attendance - 37363
Game Time - 2:56
Temperature - 89
Umpires - Home - Dana DeMuth, First Base - Paul Nauert, Second Base - Doug Eddings, Third Base - Mike Muchlinski