First baseman Freddie Freeman had three hits, one of them his 23rd homer, to help the Atlanta Braves snap a four-game losing streak and beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-3 at SunTrust Park.
The win trimmed Atlanta’s magic number for clinching the National League East to six. The loss ended a three-game winning streak for the Cardinals.
Freeman broke open the scoreless tie with a two-run homer to left-center in the fourth inning. He added an RBI single in Atlanta’s three-run fifth inning.
Freeman was 3-for-3 with a walk, scored a run and drove in three. Freeman has hit safely in four straight and is 9-for-17 with two homers during that span.
The winning pitcher was rookie Touki Toussaint (2-1), who was making his fourth career start. The right-hander worked 5 2/3 innings and allowed two runs on five hits and three walks. Toussaint struck out a career-high eight.
Atlanta made it exciting when closer A.J. Minter loaded the bases with one out in the ninth. He got out of the mess by striking out Jose Martinez and retiring Paul DeJong on a foul infield popup to end the game.
The performance was quite a turnaround for Toussaint, who was tagged for three runs in one inning of relief in his last appearance on Sept. 15. In his four starts, Toussaint has a 3.27 ERA and is under consideration to be included on the postseason roster.
The losing pitcher was Jack Flaherty (8-8). The rookie pitched 4 2/3 innings and allowed five runs on five hits and two walks. He struck out six.
Flaherty lost his second straight decision and hasn’t won since Aug. 28 against the Pirates. The five runs was the most he’d allowed since giving up six to Miami on May 6.
St. Louis cut Atlanta’s lead to 2-1 in the fifth when Harrison Bader hit a solo homer, his 12th.
The Braves (84-68) then scored three times in the fifth. One run came home on a wild pitch, Freeman drove in the second and Ender Inciarte stole home.
St. Louis (84-69) scored a run in the sixth on Yadier Molina’s single, but Atlanta got it back in the seventh when Inciarte scored on throwing error by second baseman Kolten Wong.
The Cardinals made it 6-3 in the eighth inning when Jedd Gyorko drove home a run with a sacrifice fly, but the Braves answered with a solo homer from Tyler Flowers, his eighth.
—Field Level Media