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Cardinals vs. Braves score update: St. Louis heads to 9th inning up 6-3

The Atlanta Braves trail the St. Louis Cardinals 6-3 through eight innings in Friday night's NL Wild Card game. The Braves threatened in the eighth, but failed to capitalize thanks in part to a bizarre infield fly rule call.

The Braves struck first in the game, thanks to a two-run home run by catcher David Ross, but the Cardinals were able to respond with three runs in the fourth. St. Louis added a run in the sixth and two in the seventh. The Braves managed to narrow the gap with a run in the bottom half of the seventh and would have gotten more if Chipper Jones had been able to deliver a two-out hit with runners in scoring position.

The Cardinals threatened again in the eighth, putting two men on with one out, but a double play ended the inning. Atlanta rallied in the bottom half of the eighth and appeared to have the bases loaded with one out when a miscommunication by the Cardinals in shallow left allowed a ball to drop in. Matt Holliday and shortstop Peter Kozma ended up confused about who would take the ball, which allowed for the botched play. But the umpire in left field implemented the infield fly rule, and the batter was therefore out. Here's the position of the ball:

Infield_medium

via assets.sbnation.com

With the ball caught that far out of the infield, a significant delay resulted as Braves manager Fredi Gonzales first objected, then placed the game under protest. There was also time required to clear the field of debris, which had been thrown by Braves fans displeased with the infield fly rule call.

Play resumed with two outs and men on second and third, with Jason Motte on the mound for St. Louis. He issued a walk to Brian McCann to load the bases. Michael Bourn then came to the plate and worked a full count before striking out to end the inning.

Atlanta starting pitcher Kris Medlen left the game after 6-1/3 innings of work having allowed five runs, though only two were earned. St. Louis starter Kyle Lohse was replaced with two outs in the sixth.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.