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Atlanta at St. Louis

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Atlanta (22-18)010100000280
St. Louis (22-20) «01013000x5130

Craig, Lynn help push Cardinals past Braves

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- Allen Craig is starting to feel comfortable and the St. Louis Cardinals are hoping that continues for a long time.

Craig, batting cleanup, had three hits, drove in a run and scored twice and Lance Lynn allowed two runs over seven innings to lead the Cardinals to a 5-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Friday night.

After batting.315 with 97 RBIs in 134 games in 2013, Craig has struggled to find his stroke. He was hitting .192 on April 29, but his average has risen slowly but steadily since. He was up to .231 after Friday's game.

Craig said he is feeling better and better at the plate, even if the results have not been readily apparent.

"Guys know when they're feeling good in the box," Craig said. "The results may not be there, but you can still feel good and feel like good things are going to happen. It's just a matter of time and being patient. I feel like I'm at that point."

Nevertheless, Craig was happy with the multihit game.

"I'm definitely excited because I don't take success for granted," Craig said. "This game's tough and a lot goes into having a good game."

Lynn (5-2) allowed seven hits walked two and struck out three. He seemed to get stronger as the game went on.

"It was just one of those things where everything clicked and all of a sudden I was throwing the ball where I wanted to," Lynn said. "I was throwing the ball in the strike zone and when that happens, it's fun to pitch."

Carlos Martinez retired the Braves on four pitches in the eighth and Trevor Rosenthal set down the side in order for his 12th save in 13 opportunities.

Matt Carpenter and Kolten Wong had two hits each and scored a run for St. Louis. Matt Holiday, Matt Adams and Yadier Molina all drove in a run for the Cardinals.

St. Louis finished the game without manager Mike Matheny and center fielder Peter Bourjos, both of whom were ejected by home plate umpire Sean Barber at the end of the fourth inning for arguing balls and strikes.

"I loved to see the fire and the fight that Peter showed there," Matheny said. "Frustrated and knew a couple of pitches didn't get called to what he thought was the strike zone in big situations. You can't take the emotions out of these guys."

The Braves' Chris Johnson went 2 for 4 with a run scored. Johnson is batting .377 (20 for 53) in May.

While Johnson has been hot, his teammates have not. The Braves, who have lost 11 of 16, were held to two or fewer runs for the 18th time.

"We get one or even two guys hot and they're so far apart in the lineup that we don't get it going," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Sooner or later we'll start swinging like we're capable of."

Ervin Santana (4-1) took his first loss as a member of the Braves. Santana lasted five innings and allowed five runs and 10 hits with one walk and three strikeouts.

St. Louis broke open a 2-2 tie by scoring three times in the fifth. With one out, Carpenter and Wong singled. Holliday followed with an RBI double down the right field line to score Carpenter. Wong scored on Craig's single to left and Molina made it 5-2 with a sacrifice fly.

The Braves took a 1-0 lead in the second on a two-out RBI single by Tyler Pastornicky, but the Cardinals tied it in the bottom of the inning on Adams' RBI double. After the Braves took a 2-1 lead in the fourth on Andrelton Simmons' 6-4-3 double play ball, the Cardinals tied it in the bottom of the frame when Craig scored from third on Santana's wild pitch with two outs.

Notes

Jhonny Peralta stole second in the fourth inning for his first stolen base as a member of the Cardinals. ... Santana had two wild pitches, giving him a total of five, one behind Arizona's Wade Miley for the most in the National League. ... Atlanta's Aaron Harang (4-3) will oppose Shelby Miller (5-2) in the second game of the series Saturday. ... Friday was the first time that Santana has allowed five or more earned runs since Aug. 9, 2013, in a 9-6 win over Boston when he was with Kansas City.

 
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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Players of the Game
St. Louis

A. Craig
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
St. Louis

M. Holliday
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jason Heyward, RF3010102 .208
Justin Upton, LF3010110 .281
Freddie Freeman, 1B4010013 .305
Evan Gattis, C4000003 .250
Chris Johnson, 3B4120010 .285
B.J. Upton, CF4010011 .209
Andrelton Simmons, SS4110010 .259
Ervin Santana, P2000002 .167
   Luis Avilan, P0000000 .000
   a-Jordan Schafer, PH1000000 .125
   David Hale, P0000000 .000
   Ian Thomas, P0000000 .000
Tyler Pastornicky, 2B3011000 .222
Totals3228125  
a-grounded out for Avilan in the 7th
Batting
2B - Chris Johnson (9, Lynn)
RBI - Tyler Pastornicky (2)
2-OUT RBI - Tyler Pastornicky (1)
CS - Jason Heyward (2, 2nd base by Lynn/Molina)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Pastornicky-Simmons-Freeman, Pastornicky-Simmons-Freeman-Pastornicky-Simmons-Freeman, Pastornicky-Simmons-Freeman-Pastornicky-Simmons-Freeman-Pastornicky-Simmons-Freeman
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Ervin Santana (L,4-1) 51055130 2.76
Luis Avilan 1100010 4.85
David Hale 1.1200100 1.59
Ian Thomas 0.2000010 3.24
IBB - Jay by David Hale
WP - Ervin Santana 2 (5)
HBP - Holliday (by David Hale)
Pitches-Strikes - Ervin Santana 99-61, Luis Avilan 18-12, David Hale 24-13, Ian Thomas 14-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ervin Santana 5-5, Luis Avilan 2-0, David Hale 2-1, Ian Thomas 1-0
Batters Faced - Ervin Santana 24, Luis Avilan 4, David Hale 7, Ian Thomas 2
St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Matt Carpenter, 3B5120003 .261
Kolten Wong, 2B4120001 .240
Matt Holliday, LF3111000 .268
Allen Craig, RF4231001 .231
Yadier Molina, C3021001 .322
Matt Adams, 1B4021002 .304
Jhonny Peralta, SS3010103 .252
Peter Bourjos, CF2000023 .213
   Jon Jay, CF1000111 .271
Lance Lynn, P2000012 .063
   Carlos Martinez, P0000000 .000
   a-Daniel Descalso, PH0000000 .175
   b-Joey Butler, PH1000011 .000
   Trevor Rosenthal, P0000000 .000
Totals32513425  
a-announced for Martinez in the 8th
b-struck out for Descalso in the 8th
Batting
2B - Matt Holliday (11, Santana), Matt Adams 2 (14, Santana)
SF - Yadier Molina (2)
SH - Lance Lynn (2)
RBI - Matt Holliday (24), Allen Craig (17), Yadier Molina (21), Matt Adams (12)
SB - Kolten Wong (4, 2nd base off Hale/Gattis), Jhonny Peralta (1, 2nd base off Santana/Gattis), Jon Jay (2, 2nd base off Thomas/Gattis)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Molina-Wong, Molina-Wong-Peralta-Wong-Adams, Molina-Wong-Peralta-Wong-Adams-Martinez-Peralta-Adams
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Lance Lynn (W,5-2) 7722230 3.67
Carlos Martinez (H,10) 1100000 4.03
Trevor Rosenthal (S,12) 1000020 4.50
Pitches-Strikes - Lance Lynn 110-69, Carlos Martinez 4-3, Trevor Rosenthal 17-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Lance Lynn 8-8, Carlos Martinez 2-0, Trevor Rosenthal 1-0
Batters Faced - Lance Lynn 28, Carlos Martinez 3, Trevor Rosenthal 3
Game Information
Attendance - 43701
Game Time - 2:55
Temperature - 60
Umpires - Home - Sean Barber, First Base - Ron Kulpa, Second Base - Eric Cooper, Third Base - Chris Guccione