By: Jim Tsapelas
On a cold April evening in Georgia, in what can be mercifully best described as a sloppy game, with both the St. Louis Cardinals and the Atlanta Braves committing three errors each, and combined for-four wild pitches; the Redbirds defeated the Braves by the score of twelve to two.
The Cardinals took the lead of a scoreless game in the top of the second inning and never looked back. St. Louis starting pitcher, Carlos Martinez (1-0), had a good overall performance going one for three with the bat, scoring a run and picking up two RBI’s. Martinez, who earned the first win of the season by a Cardinals’ starter, pitched six innings, allowed four hits, two earned runs, walked three, and struck out two. Martinez also offered up a wild pitch.
Looking for early control, Martinez walked the first and third batters he faced. The only bump on Martinez’s night occurred in the third inning when the Braves plated two runs in the bottom of the third, when Eric Aybar scored on a line-drive double by Nick Markakis. Markakis scored on a single to left center by Freddie Freeman.
Where the long ball was the highlight of Friday night’s Cardinals’ win, it was the game of small ball which brought the Cardinals their second win. The Cardinals scored their twelve runs by belting out fourteen hits. The Cardinals batters combined for nine RBI’s, and were gifted by the Braves with nine walks. The Cardinals also benefited by three wild pitches charged against the Braves hurlers.
Once again, the Redbird’s bullpen was simply brilliant. Tyler Lyons threw two scoreless innings striking out one. Seth Maness pitched a scoreless ninth inning also striking out one.
Atlanta’s veteran pitcher Julio Teheran (0-1), making his second start of the season, worked four innings, allowed six hits, five runs-four of which were earned, walked four, struck out four, and was the author of two of the three Braves wild pitches.
On Sunday, the Cardinals hope to sweep the Braves and get to the .500 mark for the season. The last time the Redbirds swept the Braves was in August of 1988. The offensive awakening of the Cardinals via the long ball on Friday and small ball on Saturday hopefully shows an awakening and correcting of the team which struck out thirty-seven times in their three game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Cardinals struck out nine times in both Friday and Saturday’s night wins. On Friday night the Cards left eight men on base; on Saturday they left thirty-two.
On Sunday the Cardinals send Adam Wainwright (0-1) to meet the Braves Williams Perez (0-0), who is making his first start of the 2016 season.
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