It took more than a week, but thanks to early home runs from Michael Bourn and Dan Uggla, the Atlanta Braves finally snapped their longest losing streak since 2010 with a 5-4 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Braves, who sat in first place just a week ago, ended their one day in last place in the National League East with a vital three-run homer from Dan Uggla in the third inning to spark what had been essentially a zombified offense.
The decisive run, however, was scored by Jose Constanza, who was just called up from Triple-A Gwinnett earlier Tuesday. In the fifth inning, he singled, went to second on a bad pickoff throw by Jake Westbrook, advanced to third on a flyball from Bourn and then scored on a wild pitch.
Uggla's homer gave the Braves their first four-run lead since May 17, but the Cardinals made the Braves earn their first win in over a week. Randall Delgado earned his first win since April 17 with 5 1/3 innings of solid work, but a Yadier Molina home run put the Cardinals within two, and a Matt Adams walk meant that Chad Durbin had to come in and provide two important strikeouts.
Jonny Venters made Braves fans sweat in a tense seventh inning in which he got two outs before allowing the Cardinals score on an RBI-single from Yadier Molina to cap off his four-hit night. With runners at the corners and the lead cut to one, however, Venters showed encouraging signs when he struck out Adams to end the inning.
Eric O'Flaherty and Craig Kimbrel also showed a potential reemergence of Atlanta's bullpen dominance by working perfect eighth and ninth innings to finish off St. Louis and give the Braves a shot to win the series and end the month on a high note.
Bourn lead off the bottom of the first with his fifth homer of the season. Already tying his career high for home runs from 2005, Bourn has hit all five home runs in a span of 72 at-bats.
Tim Hudson (3-2) will look to best Kyle Lohse (5-1) to secure the Braves' first series win since May 20 in a 7:10 start.
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