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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Nine Is Not Fine; Cards Complete Sweep of Braves


There really isn't much to tell about this game. Rookie starter Jamie Garcia continued his good work in the early season, limiting Atlanta to just four hits through seven innings. The Braves only managed to get three men in scoring position the entire game. They had the best chance in the eighth inning when Yunel Escobar doubled and Martin Prado singled off of reliever Kyle McClellan, but Chipper Jones flied out and Troy Glaus struck out.

The Cardinals scored five runs (three earned) off of Braves starter Kenshin Kawakami, who is now 0-4 on the year and 1-7 with a 6.28 ERA in April over his brief major league career. He allowed three runs himself, but got charged with an additional two when reliever Jonny Venters let both inherited runners score. Skip Schumaker scored two runs, Colby Rasmus and Albert Pujols both had a double, single and intentional walk and run scored in their bodies of work.


The game got ugly quick and continued to get uglier, though not all of it had to do with the Cardinals offense. Both Jair Jurrjens and Yunel Escobar had to leave the game with injuries in the Braves' 10-4 loss that stretched their losing streak to nine games and completed their 0-7 road trip. Jurrjens left with a strained hamstring after finishing the first inning (and coughing up a home run to David Freese, who had six RBIs on the day) and Escobar strained a hip muscle as he was throwing to first base in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Colby Rasmus scored four runs for the Cardinals with two walks and two singles. Freese and Matt Holliday scored two runs each. The Cardinals did most of their scoring off of Braves reliever Jesse Chavez, who gave up five runs in two innings, including four in the fifth after he got the first two batters out.

The small highlight of the day was Jason Heyward's at-bat in the seventh inning. He lined a home run off of El Lanzador Gordo Dennys Reyes (if you saw him and know Spanish, you'd call him that too). It was the first home run the Cardinals bullpen had given up since Todd Wellemeyer, now a Giant, gave up one on October 4th of last year.

Adam Wainwright started for the Cardinals and allowed three earned runs on six hits in six innings, the "big blow" being a two-run single by Eric Hinske.

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