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Braves Conclude Long Road Trip With Sweep Over Cardinals

The Braves wanted to make a statement against the team that claimed their wild card spot last September. Despite a red-hot offense and phenomenal starting staff in St. Louis, Atlanta swept the Cardinals at Busch Stadium in convincing fashion. Despite playing the fewest home games in the Majors, the Braves now lead the National League East and have the third-best record in baseball.

Atlanta got off to a quick start on Friday night with Mike Minor on the mound, but the young lefty was unable to work deep into the game after suddenly surrendering what seemed like a never-ending supply of extra-base hits. The two clubs remained tied through 11 innings, and it was a two-run homer from Jason Heyward that sealed the deal in the top of the 12th as Atlanta won 9-7.

Saturday night was all about Brandon Beachy. The young righty continued to dominate on the mound and allowed just one run in six innings of work. A bit of wildness from Adam Wainwright helped Atlanta establish an early lead, and the offense continued to pile on runs throughout the game as they won 7-2.

Sunday featured more of the same: great hitting and solid pitching from the Braves as they went on to win by a score of 7-4. Jason Heyward had a key three-run double in an at-bat where he saw a total of 10 pitches, and Tommy Hanson pitched well enough to hand the game over to the bullpen. Atlanta was in complete control of this game for the entire afternoon, and only an innocent three-run homer from the Cardinals in the ninth made the final score closer than it should have been.

Next up for the Braves: two games at home against the Reds, followed by two more games at home with the Marlins.

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