With Mike Soroka on the hill, the Braves knew they only had to do a few runs to get a good chance of winning and they did it perfectly, but the Bullpen was another problem.
In the early days, Dakota Hudson was a tough customer, but freshman sensation Austin Riley was ready for the challenge. With Josh Donaldson on the ground after a single Riley had torn a double field to the left, earning the Braves a 1-0 lead in the second inning.
Soroka blew the first three innings in just 23 pitches, but was hit by some bad luck in the bottom of the fourth innings when Paul Goldschmidt was able to access a catcher's interference call. Then Goldschmidt was brought home with two outs in the inning by Matt Carpenter to tie the game.
Later in the fifth inning, Soroka got into more trouble after Yadi Molina hit a soft single against the left-back from the inning. Soroka was quick to score two outs on the board but was more unlucky after hitting Dexter Fowler with a pitch to claim first and second places for Goldschmidt. Goldy was then sent off to the right field and Nick Markakis could not recover the ball before a gimpy Molina scored.
After the Cardinals won 2-1
The next batsman was Ozzie Albies, who wasted no time putting a ball into the right field gap where the Braves were 3-2 ahead.
Atlanta turned to Anthony Swarzak in the seventh inning and he made quick work with the Cardinals, but the story of the night was Dan Winkler at the end of the eighth. Winkler has been very good for the Braves lately, but tonight was not his night because he allowed four runs too late, leaving the Braves out of reach.
Jedd Gyorko had the decisive blow with a 3-run pinch strike against Homer from the bench, who inflated things far into the last frame.
The Braves were assigned to face the intimidating Jordan Hicks and his 100-MPH fastball in the ninth inning. Hicks had none of this and the game was over in an instant.
Atlanta looks back on tomorrow and has the chance to win the series in St. Louis and continue the great game of the past two weeks. Stay tuned.