For the second straight game, the Cardinals overcame the Braves in the late innings with two runs in the eighth and one in the ninth, beating Atlanta, 3-2.
Brandon Beachy pitched a gem over seven innings, not allowing any runs and just two hits with no walks. However, a leadoff double and a walk knocked him out of the eighth inning with no outs recorded. Jonny Venters relieved him in a tough spot. After a sac bunt moved both into scoring position, Lance Berkman struck out for the second out. But David Freese came up with the big hit on a single through the hole to plate both runs and tie the game at two.
St. Louis took the lead in the ninth off Craig Kimbrel when Matt Holliday singled to lead off the inning and advanced on a passed ball. That was followed by an RBI triple by Gerald Laird to put the Cardinals ahead, where it remained.
Beachy's final line was two runs on three hits in seven innings, walking one and striking out five. His line was almost perfect through seven innings, so it's a tough way to end such a great outing, not to mention it resulted in a loss. Venters came in and did everything he could to avoid a tie, including getting the grounder, but it wasn't to be. Kimbrel continued to struggle by recording his first loss of the season, allowing the game-winning run in the ninth.
The Braves scored their two runs in the fifth on a two-run double by Martin Prado. Despite five walks, the offense couldn't manage another run. They reached base in every inning but the third and seventh, but most were scattered hits and walks that led to nothing. In the eighth, Jason Heyward doubled with one out, but Brian McCann flew out and Dan Uggla lined out to end the threat.
Prado went 2-4 with two doubles and two RBIs. Chipper Jones added two walks, one intentional, and Nate McLouth walked twice. Alex Gonzalez recorded a single and walk.
Jake Westbrook allowed two runs on five hits in six innings, walking three and striking out one. His sinker led to 10 groundouts and four flyouts. His control wasn't on point, but he did enough to keep the Braves scoreless through four and allow just two runs.
Mitchell Boggs, Miguel Batista and Fernando Salas each pitched a scoreless inning behind Westbrook. Batista picked up the win and Salas the save.
Freese went 2-4 with two RBIs. Laird recorded the winning RBI on a triple, his only hit. Both the Braves and Cardinals each had six hits as a team.
For more on the series, Braves fans check out Talking Chop and Cardinals fans check out Viva El Birdos.