Braves snap Cardinals' streak at 8
ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Cardinals finally ran into a pitch that could shut down their scorching offense.
Knuckleballing R.A. Dickey scattered seven hits over seven solid innings Sunday as the Atlanta Braves snapped St. Louis' eight-game winning streak with a 6-3 decision at Busch Stadium.
Dickey (8-7) didn't give up a run until Carson Kelly singled home Kolten Wong, who tripled, with one out in the bottom of the seventh. Dickey walked two and fanned three.
Brandon Phillips provided the big hit for Atlanta (52-63) as it snapped a five-game losing streak. Phillips slugged a two-run homer in the fifth, his 10th of the year and second in as many games, to give the Braves a 4-0 lead.
Atlanta broke the scoring seal with two runs in the fourth off Michael Wacha (9-5). Danny Santana's one-out single with the bases loaded plated Freddie Freeman. Ozzie Albies followed with a sacrifice fly to center that scored Nick Markakis on a close play at the plate.
Wacha lost for just the second time in eight decisions. He allowed eight hits and four runs over five innings, walking one and whiffing one.
Nick Markakis gave the Braves a 5-0 lead in the seventh with a fielder's choice grounder that scored Ender Inciarte.
The Cardinals (61-57) put a scare into Atlanta in the eighth. Paul DeJong blasted a solo homer to left-center, followed by three straight singles. The last of those, Wong's grounder into right, scored Jose Martinez to make it 5-3.
St. Louis loaded the bases with one out, but reliever Jose Ramirez slipped a called third strike by Greg Garcia and induced an inning-ending bouncer to third from pinch hitter Yadier Molina.
Jace Peterson pinch-hit a triple to start the ninth and scored on a wild pitch for the Braves' final run.
Arodys Vizcaino worked a 1-2-3 ninth to garner his sixth save in eight tries.
The Cardinals dropped a half-game behind the Chicago Cubs for first place in the National League
NOTES: St. Louis 3B Jedd Gyorko (right knee irritation) missed his second straight game and was replaced again by Greg Garcia. Gyorko could return to the lineup Tuesday night at Boston, even if it's just in the DH role. ... Atlanta OF Matt Kemp (right hamstring) said he will be able to return from the 10-day DL Friday night when the Braves return home to play. Kemp, batting .290 with 14 homers and 48 RBI, said he won't require a rehab stint. ... Cardinals LHP Kevin Siegrist (left forearm) has started throwing off flat ground but isn't yet ready to throw off a mound. There's no timetable for his return.