The St. Louis Cardinals take the rubber game of their weekend series with Atlanta, downing the Braves 4-1 Sunday afternoon at Busch Stadium.
The game was scoreless until the Cardinals drew first blood in the bottom of the 5th, scoring three runs. Ryan Ludwick, who had doubled and was left stranded in the 2nd inning, singled to lead off and came home on Yadier Molina’s double to the left field corner. Molina was then sacrificed to third and scored on third baseman Chris Woodward’s error on a sharply hit ground ball by Brendan Ryan. Ryan, who had gone to second on the error, scored the inning’s third run on a So Taguchi single.
Atlanta got one back in the top of the 6th. Mark Teixeira doubled with two out and scored on a Brian McCann single.
St. Louis regained its three run lead in the bottom of the 6th. Juan Encarnacion belted his 9th home run of the season, a line drive to left field, to put the Cards up 4-1.
St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright (12-9) pitched 7 strong innings for the win, giving up only 1 earned run on 6 hits. Jason Isringhausen pitched the 9th to pick up his 27th save – his 200th as a St. Louis Cardinal. Atlanta starter Jo-Jo Reyes (0-2) gave up all 4 runs, 2 of them earned, on 7 hits to take the loss.
The Cardinals (63-64) have Monday off before they open a three game series with the Houston Astros Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park. Braden Looper (10-10) goes to the mound for St. Louis against Houston’s Woody Williams (8-12).