July 1, 2018 / 9:52 PM / 16 days ago

Five-run sixth carries Braves to sweep of Cardinals

First baseman Freddie Freeman hit his 16th homer to highlight a five-run rally that propelled the Atlanta Braves to a 6-5 win over the St. Louis Cardinals and a sweep of their three-game series at Busch Stadium.

After Ozzie Albies opened the sixth inning with a single to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, Freeman connected against St. Louis right-hander John Gant (2-3) for a two-run shot to center field. The Braves went on to get RBIs from Charlie Culberson, Dansby Swanson and pinch-hitter Ryan Flaherty.

It was the first three-game sweep for Atlanta in St. Louis since 2012.

Atlanta starter Mike Foltynewicz (6-4) pitched five scoreless innings and allowed only one hit and three walks. He struck out nine. He has allowed two or fewer runs in nine straight starts and lowered his ERA to 2.02. In two starts against the Cardinals last season, Foltynewicz was 0-2 with a 17.55 ERA.

Dan Winkler pitched a perfect eighth inning and A.J. Minter worked a perfect ninth for his third save in three tries.

Gant, who pitched for the Braves in 2016, lasted 5 1/3 innings and allowed four runs on four hits and three walks. He struck out two. It was Gant’s second start since replacing the injured Michael Wacha (left oblique strain) in the rotation.

Atlanta opened the scoring by getting a run in the second inning on doubles by Tyler Flowers and Charlie Culberson.

The Cardinals made it interesting by scoring five runs in the seventh inning against Atlanta relievers Shane Carle, Jesse Biddle and Peter Moylan. Francisco Pena drove in a pair with a single to right against Carle, and Tommy Pham had a three-run homer, his 13th, against Moylan. Pham had ended an 0-for-31 streak with a single in the previous inning.

St. Louis begins a West Coast road trip on Monday with a three-game series at Arizona. Atlanta continues its 10-game trip with a three-game series against the New York Yankees starting Monday.

—Field Level Media

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