The St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves will conclude a three-game series when they meet one more time at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on Sunday night.
Bats finally cool off
Atlanta lost on Saturday for just the fourth time in 15 games and scored fewer than four runs for only the third time in its last 13 contests. Dansby Swanson singled in four at-bats to extend his hitting streak to eight games, while Austin Riley finished 1-for-4 with a run-scoring double, giving the rookie at least one hit in nine of his first 11 major-league games. Atlanta, which took a 3-2 lead in the seventh frame on the strength of three doubles, has recorded 27 two-base hits and 26 homers while batting .262 after the sixth inning this season.
Right-hander Julio Teheran (3-4, 3.67 ERA) is taking the mound for Atlanta on Sunday. Teheran quietly has been one of the reasons Atlanta has played well this month, giving up only two earned runs while limiting opponents to a .132 batting average over 22.2 innings in four starts. The 28-year-old held San Francisco to one run and three hits while recording six strikeouts in 5.2 innings on Tuesday but did not factor in the decision of Atlanta’s 4-3 loss.
A jolt for Jedd
It has been a miserable season so far for Jedd Gyorko, but his biggest hit of 2019 sends the St. Louis Cardinals into Sunday’s home contest against the Braves looking for a series victory. Gyorko, who entered Saturday hitting just .167 with only seven singles and two RBIs, capped a four-run, eighth-inning uprising with a three-run homer to lift St. Louis to a 6-3 success its sixth win in 21 games. There were other good signs Saturday for the Cardinals, who are 7-15 this month, as Matt Carpenter finished with three hits and two RBIs–including two game-tying singles–to give him six hits in his last 12 at-bats and raise his average to .222.
Jack Flaherty (4-3, 4.19 ERA) will oppose Teheran on Sunday. Flaherty allowed four or more earned runs in three of his first five starts but has pitched to a 3.34 ERA while holding opponents to a .188 batting average over his last five outings. The 23-year-old has gone 2-2 in that stretch, settling for a no-decision last Sunday at Texas after giving up two runs and four hits in 6.0 innings. Flaherty posted a road victory over the Braves on May 14, when he allowed three runs on three hits and five walks over 6.0 innings in a 14-3 rout.
The Atlanta Braves are:
- 8-3 in their last 11 overall
- 7-2 in their last nine road games
- 5-2 in their last seven games against the National League Central
The St. Louis Cardinals are:
- 5-15 in their last 20 overall
- 1-5 in their last six home games
- 5-11 in Flaherty’s last 16 starts