The Cardinals had an answer to the Braves' runs every time. St. Louis scored one in the ninth and two in the 11th to take a 5-3 win over Atlanta in the series opener.
The Braves scored two in the first on a solo homer by Jason Heyward and an RBI double by Dan Uggla. They remained on top until the fourth when the Cardinals struck for two of their own. Yadier Molina hit a sac fly that brought home a run, and Daniel Descalso singled in the second run.
The game remained tied at two until the seventh when McLouth hit a high fastball over the right field fence for a solo shot, putting the Braves ahead by one. But the Cardinals answered in the ninth off Craig Kimbrel when back-to-back singles set up a sac fly RBI by Descalso to tie the game at three.
The Cardinals took the lead in the 11th off Cory Gearrin when a hit-by-pitch and walk set up a two-run triple for Nick Punto for a 5-3 lead, where it remained.
McLouth went 2-3 with a home run and RBI. Uggla went 2-4 with a double and RBI. Heyward went 2-4 with a home run and RBI. Other than those three, the Braves managed four hits, including a Chipper Jones double.
Tim Hudson hit two snags, allowing two runs in the fourth and running up his pitch count in the sixth. But he did well despite not having his best command. He allowed two runs on six hits in six innings, walking two and striking out three. All six hits were singles, but most of them were hard hit due to pitches left up and over the plate.
Eric O'Flaherty pitched a scoreless seventh. Jonny Venters walked Colby Rasmus to lead off the eighth, but he set down the middle of the Cardinals lineup in order for a scoreless inning. Kimbrel gave up two singles and the game-tying run in the ninth, resulting in his second blown save of the season.
Cory Gearrin set down the middle of the Cardinals lineup in the 10th, but he lost his command in the 11th by hitting a batter and giving up a walk, resulting in two runs on a triple to Punto.
Chris Carpenter gave up three runs on 10 hits in seven innings, walking two and striking out three. His command wasn't great, either, but he worked with it enough to manage just three runs allowed. He allowed two doubles and two homers, and he left pitches over the plate, but the Braves also had a lot to do with it due to good hitting.
Descalso recorded two RBIs. Molina went 2-3 with one RBI. Punto recorded the game-winning RBIs on a triple, the only extra base hit for the Cardinals in the game.
For more on the series, Braves fans check out Talking Chop and Cardinals fans check out Viva El Birdos.