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(Wednesday, May 30th)
Final Score: Atlanta 10, St. Louis 7
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Brian McCann went 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI to lead the Braves over the Cardinals, 10-7, in the rubber match of a three-game series.
The newly-spectacled Freddie Freeman homered and drove in three, while Jose Constanza went 3-for-4, knocked in a run and scored the go-ahead tally in the Braves' three-run sixth inning.
Atlanta totaled 20 runs during an eight-game losing streak before breaking out for 15 in the final two games of the series.
"Everyone is going to go through a stretch like that during the season. ... But we bounced back like a winning team does," Freeman said.
Matt Holliday and Tyler Greene each had two RBI in St. Louis' fifth loss in seven games.
The Braves staked Tim Hudson to a 5-0 lead, but Atlanta's starter faltered in the sixth, allowing four runs.
Holliday, who roped an RBI single in the fourth, added another run-scoring base hit in St. Louis' big inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, Greene stroked a two-run single to left that plated a pair and chased Hudson.
Daniel Descalso greeted Jonny Venters (3-2) with an RBI single to center and the game was suddenly tied, 5-5.
Marc Rzepczynski (0-3), though, couldn't tame the suddenly hot Atlanta bats in the home sixth. Constanza led off with an infield single, took second on a wild pitch and scored when Jack Wilson poked a double down the right-field line.
A pair of groundouts, a walk and a wild pitch resulted in runners on second and third and two outs for McCann, who bounced one through the shift and into left field to knock in Michael Bourn and Martin Prado for an 8-5 cushion.
"It was one of those innings," Rzepczynski said. "I felt like I threw the ball well, but results-wise it didn't turn out my way."
St. Louis didn't go quietly, plating a pair of runs off Eric O'Flaherty in the eighth on Shane Robinson's sacrifice fly and Carlos Beltran's pinch-hit single off O'Flaherty's cleat.
After O'Flaherty struck out Rafael Furcal to strand a pair, the Braves got the runs back on Dan Uggla's sac fly and Freeman's two-out RBI single.
Craig Kimbrel hurled a scoreless ninth to secure his 15th save of the season.
Freeman had missed four straight games due to corneal abrasions created by the contact lenses he was wearing. The 22-year-old slugger wasted little time showing his new goggles worked effectively, as he blasted a home run off Kyle Lohse to straightaway center field in his first at-bat.
The Braves went ahead earlier in the first when McCann's fly ball carried over the right-field fence for a two-run blast. The hosts tacked on two more in the third.
Freeman appeared to make the final out of the frame when he hit a high fly to shallow left field. But Holliday, playing no-doubles defense, was too far back to make a play on the ball, which fell between the left fielder and Furcal. Uggla, who reached on a two-out single, never stopped running on the play and scored all the way from first.
Jason Heyward extended the inning with a walk, and Constanza plated Freeman with a base hit to right.
All 10 of St. Louis' hits were singles...Hudson gave up five runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings, while Lohse was pulled after yielding five runs on nine hits over five frames...Cardinals third baseman David Freese was held out of the starting lineup for a third straight game Wednesday against the Braves because of a wrist injury...Atlanta won the season series, 5-1...After the game, the Braves optioned shortstop Tyler Pastornicky to Triple-A Gwinnett.
05/31 00:30:01 ET
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