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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Same Old Story; Cardinals Come Back, Hold Off Braves


It's almost like I was watching a re-run of last night's game. The Braves jumped out to an early lead, but the starting pitcher (and bullpen) couldn't hold it and the Braves were unable to come from behind. This time, it was by a 5-4 score.

The Braves took a 2-0 lead in the second inning thanks to an RBI groundout by Nate McLouth and a first-pitch RBI single for Derek Lowe. The Cardinals struck back with a one-out solo home run by Ryan Ludwick in the fourth inning. Albert Pujols followed with a single and the Cardinals didn't get another hit until the sixth inning.

Lowe and Cardnials starter Chris Carpenter were matching each other pitch for pitch up to then. Lowe had no walks and two hits allowed through five innings while Carpenter had three walks and one hit allowed.

It wasn't meant to last for Lowe, though. Brendan Ryan led off the inning with a single, and with one out, Ryan Ludwick hit a double to left-center, scoring Ryan to tie the game. Albert Pujols was intentionally walked to get to Matt Holliday and he hit a ground ball to Chipper Jones at third base. Instead of throwing to second to try to start a double play, Chipper thought he could start it, so he forced out Ludwick at third. However, Holliday beat the throw to first.

This proved to be crucial to the inning. Colby Rasmus worked out a walk after being down 0-2 and Yadier Molina lined a single up the middle to give the Cardinals a 4-2 lead. Lowe was removed in favor of Peter Moylan and he coughed up an RBI single to David Freese, making the score 5-2.

The Braves were able to answer in the seventh inning thanks to some sloppy Cardinal fielding. Reliever Blake Hawksworth took over for Carpenter, who went six innings and allowed only two runs on three hits and three walks. He got Nate McLouth to ground out, but Brooks Conrad ripped a double off of him, then Yunel Escobar singled him to third. Martin Prado then hit a comebacker to Hawksworth. He attempted to throw home, but Molina was trying to get Prado's bat out of the way and couldn't grab the throw. The ball went to the backstop and Conrad scored. Chipper Jones then singled to second base, scoring Escobar.

Tony LaRussa then played the LOOGY-ROOGY game he loves to play every so often. The Cardinals manager brought in lefty Dennis Reyes to face Brian McCann. The catcher flied out to deep left next, advancing Prado. Mitchell Boggs was summoned to face Troy Glaus walked, but he walked. Veteran lefty Trever Miller faced lefty Jason Heyward and struck him out looking to end the inning. He stayed on in the eighth and paired with Jason Motte (1 2/3 innings) to hold the Braves off the scoreboard the rest of the game. Kris Medlen and Billy Wagner finished the game for Atlanta.

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