Surging Cardinals beat Braves behind DeJong, Grichuk
ST. LOUIS -- Paul DeJong and Randal Grichuk each homered to support Carlos Martinez's six solid innings Saturday night as the surging St. Louis Cardinals edged the Atlanta Braves 6-5 at sold-out Busch Stadium.
DeJong's team-leading 17th homer in the bottom of the seventh finished the scoring for St. Louis (61-56), which was held below eight runs for the first time since a 4-1 win on Aug. 5 in Cincinnati.
Martinez (9-9) allowed seven hits and three runs in winning his second straight start, walking one and striking out seven. Tyler Lyons followed with two scoreless innings out of the bullpen and Trevor Rosenthal survived a shaky ninth for his 11th save.
Freddie Freeman lined a two-run single to right with the bases loaded in the ninth, advancing Brandon Phillips to third with the potential tying run. But Nick Markakis fanned on a 2-2 fastball to end it.
Rookie Lucas Sims (0-3) took the loss for the Braves (51-63), who absorbed their fifth straight defeat. Sims lasted 5 1/3 innings, permitting 10 hits and five runs, four of them earned. He walked one and fanned three.
Atlanta started the scoring in the top of the first inning on a bases-loaded two-run single by Kurt Suzuki, plating Phillips and Freeman.
St. Louis' Dexter Fowler responded in the bottom of the first by grounding an RBI single to right that scored Matt Carpenter. In the second, Grichuk tied the score at 2 with his 15th homer, a line drive into the seats in right-center field.
The Cardinals grabbed the lead in the fourth with a three-run rally. Greg Garcia's infield out scored Kolten Wong, and Martinez singled through a drawn-in infield to plate Grichuk. Tommy Pham chased Martinez home from second with an RBI single to center.
Phillips got a run back for the Braves in the fifth by homering into their bullpen in left center, his ninth home run of the year.
NOTES: St. Louis 3B Jedd Gyorko (right knee irritation) was scratched from the lineup less than two hours before the game and replaced by Greg Garcia. Kolten Wong, who was scheduled to get the night off while Garcia played second, was inserted into the lineup so that Garcia could move to third. ... Atlanta RHP Luke Jackson Friday night became the first pitcher since New York Yankees RHP Dellin Betances to throw 2 1/3 perfect innings out of the bullpen and fan six hitters. Betances did it on May 15, 2014. ... The Cardinals Friday night became the first team since the 2006 Braves to win six straight games and score at least eight runs in each victory.