ST. LOUIS (AP) — Yadier Molina's RBI double snapped an eighth-inning tie and Colby Rasmus homered in the St. Louis Cardinals' 4-3 victory over the Braves on Monday night, sending Atlanta to its sixth straight loss.
Troy Glaus had two hits and an RBI for the Braves, who have been outscored 23-9 during their worst slump since dropping six in a row to end 2009. Glaus is a career .567 hitter (17 for 30) against the Cardinals, who allowed him to leave as a free agent after he missed virtually all of last season rehabbing from shoulder surgery.
Albert Pujols had three hits and an RBI for the Cardinals, who have won the opener in all but one of seven series. Pujols had a run-scoring groundout in the sixth and doubled off Takashi Saito (0-1) to open the eighth.
Both starters allowed three runs in six innings. The Cardinals' Kyle Lohse finished strong, retiring his last seven batters, but Tim Hudson stumbled late after taking a 2-0 lead into the sixth. He gave up more than two runs for the first time in four starts.
Rasmus had two hits and an intentional walk after going 1 for 18 at home to open the season. He is 12 for 26 during a seven-game hitting streak after hitting his sixth homer to open the seventh. Pinch-hitter Bryan Anderson tied it at 3 with a double off Peter Moylan.
Pujols dawdled a bit on a drive off the wall in left-center in the first and paid for it when Cabrera, the left fielder, threw him out trying for second to end the first. The Cardinals opened the second with singles by Matt Holliday and Rasmus but Holliday was out trying to steal on a botched hit-and-run, with Molina throwing his bat in an effort to make contact with an outside pitch.
Hudson's infield hit, ending a 1-for-31 start at the plate by Braves pitchers, opened a two-run third. Hudson scored on Brian McCann's bases-loaded sacrifice fly and Glaus added a two-out RBI single.
Cabrera beat out an infield hit to open the fourth, barely beating third baseman David Freese's throw after a nice stab down the line, and scored when Nate McLouth doubled for his third RBI of the season.
NOTES: Harry Statham, coach at nearby McKendree and the career men's college basketball victory leader with 1,022, threw out the first pitch. ... Braves rookie Jason Heyward was 0 for 3 with a walk and is in a 1-for-17 slump. ... The Cardinals anticipate activating backup catcher Jason LaRue (right hamstring) from the 15-day disabled list Tuesday.