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Braves-Cardinals Preview

Apr 26, 2010 - 5:45 AM By MATT BEARDMORE STATS Writer

Atlanta (8-9) at St. Louis (10-7), 8:15 p.m. EDT

The St. Louis Cardinals' starting pitching has been outstanding this season. Kyle Lohse has been the exception.

With the struggling Atlanta Braves in town for four games beginning Monday, Lohse could have a good chance of earning his first victory of the season.

Brad Penny's 7 2-3 innings of eight-hit ball in Sunday's 2-0 victory at San Francisco dropped the ERA for the Cardinals' starters to major league-best 2.61.

While Penny, Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright and Jaime Garcia all have ERA's of 3.60 or lower for NL Central-leading St. Louis (11-7), Lohse is 0-1 with a 7.31 ERA.

The right-hander will try to bounce back from his worst start of the season, Tuesday's 9-7 loss at Arizona. Lohse did not receive a decision, but surrendered season highs of seven runs, eight hits and four walks while throwing 77 pitches in three-plus innings.

"I didn't have the command I wanted," said Lohse, who is 2-1 with a 4.74 ERA in seven career starts against Atlanta. "The ball was coming out fine, the velocity was fine I just didn't make quality pitches."

Lohse might not even need to make top quality pitches Monday, given the way Atlanta (8-10) is struggling at the plate. The Braves are batting .218 and averaging 1.2 runs during a five-game losing streak. They have no home runs and have struck out 37 times during the skid.

After hitting .298 with four homers and 16 RBIs in the first 13 games, highly-touted rookie Jason Heyward is 1 for 14 with no RBIs and six strikeouts during the slide, dropping his average to .246.

"Obviously, when your team isn't hitting and you're the hitting coach, you should wonder what in the heck is going on," Braves hitting coach Terry Pendleton told MLB.com. "Maybe there's something I'm not getting across or something I'm not doing."

Hitting hasn't been the only problem for the Braves, who have committed eight errors in their last four games. Chipper Jones' throwing error - his third of the weekend - led to the only run in Sunday's 1-0, rain-shortened loss at the New York Mets.

"Things couldn't have gone really any worse for us this weekend," said Jones, who returned to the lineup Sunday after leaving Saturday's 3-1 loss with a sore right hip.

Veteran right-hander Tim Hudson (1-1, 2.89) will try to get the Braves back on track Monday as he goes for his 150th career victory. Hudson was solid in Wednesday's 2-0 home loss to Philadelphia, allowing two runs and six hits over six innings.

Hudson, who is 3-1 with a 4.85 ERA in his last five starts against St. Louis, could be fortunate that Monday's series opener is a night game. Albert Pujols is batting .500 in day games, but only .178 in 11 games under the lights.

The two-time reigning NL MVP went 3 for 4 on Sunday afternoon with his team-leading seventh home run. Pujols is 8 for 20 with a homer lifetime versus Hudson.

Matt Holliday and Colby Rasmus will look to improve their hitting at Busch Stadium as the Cardinals open a seven-game homestand. Holliday is batting .353 on the road compared with .158 at home while Rasmus is hitting .056 in St. Louis - far below his .424 road average.

Jones is 6 for 11 with a homer lifetime versus Lohse.

Atlanta, which is trying to avoid its first six-game slide since the final six games of 2009, posted a three-game sweep at Busch Stadium last Sept. 11-13.






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    Braves 3, Cardinals 4  FinalApr 27 2:05 AM
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    Braves 3, Cardinals 4  FinalApr 27 1:42 AM


  • Cardinals 4, Braves 3 - FINAL
    ATLANTA ab r h rbi bb so lob avg
    Y Escobar ss 4 0 1 0 1 1 1 .191
    M Prado 2b-1b 5 1 1 0 0 0 3 .392
    C Jones 3b 3 0 0 0 1 0 0 .255
    B McCann c 3 0 0 1 0 1 0 .255
    T Glaus 1b 3 0 2 1 1 0 0 .210
    B Conrad pr-2b 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .143
    J Heyw

    Apr 26 11:13 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY YADIER MOLINA SCORED ALBERT PUJOLS
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, Y MOLINA ON SECOND, C RASMUS ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 3
    ST LOUIS 4 BOTTOM,8TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: D FREESE (.283, 0-FOR-3)

    Braves 3, Cardinals 4  Bot 8, 0 OutsApr 26 10:57 PM
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    RUWTbot Took away 47 roots (Close Finish)

    Braves 3, Cardinals 4  Bot 8, 0 OutsApr 26 10:57 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY BRYAN ANDERSON SCORED YADIER MOLINA
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, B ANDERSON ON SECOND, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 3
    ST LOUIS 3 BOTTOM,7TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: S SCHUMAKER (.214, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Braves 3, Cardinals 3  Bot 7, 0 OutsApr 26 10:27 PM
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    Braves 3, Cardinals 3  Bot 7, 0 OutsApr 26 10:27 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY COLBY RASMUS (6) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    7TH OFF TIM HUDSON.
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 3, ST LOUIS 2
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: Y MOLINA (.238, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Braves 3, Cardinals 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsApr 26 10:13 PM
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    Braves 3, Cardinals 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsApr 26 10:13 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY ALBERT PUJOLS SCORED SKIP SCHUMAKER
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R LUDWICK ON SECOND, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 3
    ST LOUIS 1 BOTTOM,6TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: M HOLLIDAY (.306, 1-FOR-2)

    Braves 3, Cardinals 1  Bot 6, 0 OutsApr 26 10:01 PM
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    Braves 3, Cardinals 0  Bot 5, 0 OutsApr 26 9:34 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY NATE MCLOUTH SCORED MELKY CABRERA
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N MCLOUTH ON SECOND, 0 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 3
    ST LOUIS 0 TOP,4TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: T HUDSON (.143, 1-FOR-1)

    Braves 3, Cardinals 0  Top 4, 0 OutsApr 26 9:16 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY TROY GLAUS SCORED MARTIN PRADO
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, T GLAUS ON FIRST, C JONES ON SECOND, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 2
    ST LOUIS 0 TOP,3RD
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: J HEYWARD (.242, 0-FOR-1)

    Braves 2, Cardinals 0  Top 3, 0 OutsApr 26 9:03 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY BRIAN MCCANN SCORED TIM HUDSON
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C JONES ON FIRST, M PRADO ON THIRD, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 1
    ST LOUIS 0 TOP,3RD
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: T GLAUS (.200, 1-FOR-1)

    Braves 1, Cardinals 0  Top 3, 0 OutsApr 26 9:02 PM
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    Braves vs. CardinalsApr 26 3:41 PM