for this game

Laird gives Cards another late-inning win over the Braves

Apr 30, 2011 - 9:01 PM Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Gerald Laird's triple in the ninth inning scored the eventual game-winning run, as the St. Louis Cardinals used another late-game triple to down the Atlanta Braves, 3-2, in the second game of a three-game series.

David Freese drove in a pair of runs for the Cards, who got six innings from starting pitcher Jake Westbrook. He allowed two runs on five hits and three walks, but Miguel Batista (2-1) pitched a scoreless eighth to get the win, St. Louis' fourth straight.

During Friday's series opener, St. Louis got a Nick Punto two-run triple in the 11th record a 5-3 victory.

Martin Prado drove in the two runs for the Braves, who saw Craig Kimbrel (0-1) pitch one out in the ninth to get the loss.

"I didn't do my job," Kimbrel said. "I'm going to come back tomorrow and get ready to pitch. That's all I can do."

Braves starting hurler Brandon Beachy was solid in the no-decision, going seven-plus innings and allowed two runs on three hits while fanning five.

Matt Holliday led off the ninth with a single to set up the game-winning hit. He then moved to second on a passed ball before rounding to home on Laird's triple.

"I just think we have a bunch of grinders at the bottom of the lineup," Laird said. "We just have a bunch of guys that grind it out. We know what our offense can do."

Fernando Salas came on in the home the ninth to shut down the Braves for his second save of the season. He struck out two batters, including Alex Gonzalez, who questioned the call. After a confrontation with home plate umpire Marvin Hudson, both Gonzalez and Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez were ejected.

Salas then got pinch-hitter Eric Hinske to fly out to end the game.

After 4 1/2 scoreless innings, Atlanta finally got on the board. Gonzalez had a one-out single and moved to second on Nate McLouth's walk. Beachy helped his own cause by laying down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners up. Prado then brought them home with a sharp grounder to left for a two-out double.

Beachy had a rough start in the eighth, giving up a lead off double to Daniel Descalso and walking Tyler Green. Jonny Venters entered but gave up a Nick Punto sac bunt for the first out and runners were on second and third.

After Venters struck out Lance Berkman, Freese hit a hard grounder through the right side to plate both Descalso and Greene for a tie game.

Game Notes

The Cards improved to 10-5 on the road this season...The Braves have dropped two in a row on a seven-game homestand...They also welcome Milwaukee for a four-game set...It was Laird's first triple since June, 20, 2009 against the Brewers...St. Louis won six of eight meetings with Atlanta a year ago and split four matchups at Turner Field.