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Ronald Acuña Jr. homers twice as Braves beat Cardinals

The Braves homered five times to snap a three-game skid.

St. Louis Cardinals v Atlanta Braves Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Atlanta Braves flexed their muscles Thursday night snapping a three-game skid with an 8-5 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Braves didn’t waste any time getting going Thursday as Ronald Acuña Jr. jumped on the first pitch he saw from Adam Wainwright and drove it over the wall in center for his 33rd home run of the season for a 1-0 lead.

Ozzie Albies followed with a walk and then advanced all the way to third on a double by Matt Olson. Wainwright struck out Marcell Ozuna for the first out, but Eddie Rosario singled to right to score two more to make it 3-0.

Max Fried allowed a single to Tommy Edman to start the game, but Edman was erased when he was thrown out by Travis d’Arnaud trying to steal to end the inning. The Cardinals answered back in the second as they loaded the bases against Fried with one out. He then hit Andrew Knizner to force in a run to cut the lead to 3-1. Fried came back and struck out Masyn Winn, but Edman singled to center to bring home two more to tie the game. Michael Harris came up firing and threw out Nolan Gorman at the plate. However, the Cardinals challenged and the play at the plate was overturned.

Fried settled in after the rough second and retired five straight before walking Gorman with one out in the fourth. He then got Knizner to ground into a double play to end the inning.

Wainwright settled in and kept the Braves off balance after giving up the three runs in the first. He walked Nicky Lopez in the second and Olson to start the third, but Atlanta was unable to do anything with them. He ran his streak to five-straight retired with a perfect fourth.

Fried retired Winn on a pop out and then struck out Edman to start the fifth. O’Neil broke the string with a single to left and then moved to third on a high by Goldschmidt. However, Fried got Nolan Arenado to fly out to Michael Harris to leave the runners stranded.

Acuña lifted a deep fly to right center that Edman made a leaping catch in front of the Braves bullpen for the first out. Albies then sent him to the 400 foot sign in center, but Edman again flagged it down with a leap. That would bring Olson to the plate, who launched his 47th home run into the stands in left center to give the Braves back the lead at 4-3.

Fried returned for the sixth and retired the side in order. He would exit having allowed six hits and three runs over six innings. He struck out four and walked two while throwing 103 pitches.

The Braves got to Wainwright in the sixth. Harris took him deep to start the sixth to push the lead to 5-3.

Wainwright then retired Orlando Arcia and Lopez, but Acuña took him deep again into the Braves’ bullpen to push the lead to 6-3.

Pierce Johnson replaced Fried in the seventh and continued his good work with two strikeouts in a perfect seventh. Atlanta added on in the bottom half of the inning as Travis d’Arnaud connected on a two-run shot to push the advantage to make it 8-3.

A.J. Minter worked a perfect eighth. Raisel Iglesias came on in the ninth and found himself in trouble quickly. He retired Jordan Walker to start the inning, but then walked Alec Burleson with one out and then allowed a double to Gorman to put runners at second and third with one out. He then walked pinch-hitter Lars Nootbaar to load the bases. Winn then singled to cut Atlanta’s lead to 8-4. A sacrifice fly by Edman made it 8-5. O’Neil then sent a a sinking line drive to left that Rosario made a nice sliding catch on to end the game.

With the win, Atlanta improves to 91-48 for the season. They will continue their homestand on Friday when the Pittsburgh Pirates arrive for a three-game series.

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