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St. Louis Cardinals hold off Atlanta Braves for seventh win in row

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    ST. LOUIS — Make it a season-high seven wins in a row for the hard-charging St. Louis Cardinals.

    St. Louis raced to a 6-1 third-inning lead and held off the Atlanta Braves for an 8-5 decision at Busch Stadium on Friday.

    Upping their record to 60-56, the Cardinals got two doubles and three RBIs from Paul DeJong, plus two hits and two RBIs from Randal Grichuk. Their only hit after Tommy Pham’s two-out double in the third was a big one — DeJong’s two-out, two-run double down the right field line in the eighth.

    Atlanta (51-62) trailed 6-1 before scoring four two-out runs off reliever Brett Cecil in the sixth. Matt Adams singled to right to score Freddie Freeman and rookie Ozzie Albies cracked a three-run homer to left, his second of the year.

    However, John Brebbia, Zach Duke and Matt Bowman combined to pitch 3 1/3 scoreless innings to keep the Braves at bay. Bowman pitched the ninth with closer Trevor Rosenthal unavailable and notched his second save.

    Adam Wainwright (12-5) pitched five innings to notch the win. He allowed four hits and one run, walking three and fanning none. Wainwright induced double-play balls in each of the first three innings.

    Mike Foltynewicz (10-7) was tagged with the loss, lasting only 2 2/3 innings in his second-shortest outing of the year. He gave up seven hits and six runs, walking four and whiffing one.

    St. Louis initiated scoring in the bottom of the second inning with four runs. Kolten Wong drilled an RBI double to the wall in right-center field and scored on Grichuk’s RBI single.

    Matt Carpenter added a run-scoring double to right-center. After a walk to Tommy Pham, DeJong capped the rally with a double to left that plated Carpenter.

    Atlanta got on the board in the third on Freddie Freeman’s double-play grounder that scored Foltynewicz. But Foltynewicz didn’t last through the bottom of the inning, permitting a run-scoring triple to Grichuk and an RBI single to opposite number Wainwright.

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    NOTES: St. Louis has scored at least eight runs in six straight games, its longest streak of that kind since September 18-23 of 1925. … Atlanta’s Matt Adams started in left field in his return to St. Louis, batting sixth and going 1-for-4 with an RBI. Adams was traded to the Braves in May for a minor leaguer, in part because the Cardinals felt he couldn’t play adequately enough in the outfield. The career first baseman took fly balls for the first time in the spring. … Atlanta finished the Brandon Phillips trade with Cincinnati on Friday, acquiring minor league INF Kevin Franklin as the player to be named later.

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