The Braves offense continued to struggle without Jason Heyward on Tuesday night, and the Cardinals used a three run seventh inning to pull away as they defeated the Braves for the third straight night, 6-2.
Freddie Freeman put the Braves ahead in the first inning with a two-out, solo blast to right center. But after that, Cardinals’ starter Shelby Miller was fantastic, allowing only two more hits the rest of the way, walking none, and striking out six in his seven innings of work.
The small lead the Braves enjoyed following Freeman’s home run was short lived, as Matt Carpenter hit a lead off homer, tying the game at one. Then in the third inning, Carlos Beltran gave the Cardinals the lead with a solo home run in the third. Braves’ starter Julio Teheran would keep the margin at one run until the seventh. Teheran gave up back to back hits to lead off the inning before being pulled for David Carpenter. With one out, Carpenter would allow a double to the right center gap by Matt Holliday, scoring two runs. Holliday would later score on a base hit by Yadier Molina. Two of those runs in the seventh were charged to Teheran, whose line on the night ended up being six innings pitched, four earned runs, eight strikeouts, and a bit unsightly five walks.
Gerald Laird would add a pinch hit, RBI double for the Braves in the 9th, but it was clearly a case of “too little, too late”. The team has now dropped three games for the first time since early July, and whatever momentum that was going before the Braves arrived in St. Louis is absolutely gone.
The Braves will try to salvage a game in the series tomorrow, as Mike Minor (12-5, 3.06 ERA) faces Lance Lynn (13-7, 3.97 ERA) in the series finale.