Heyward helps Braves complete sweep of Cards
Atlanta, GA – Jason Heyward went 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBI and Chris Johnson added three hits and three runs scored as the Atlanta Braves downed the St. Louis Cardinals, 5-2, to complete a three-game sweep at Turner Field.
Andrelton Simmons went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Joey Terdoslavich added an RBI single for the Braves, who have gone 6-4 since the All-Star break to improve to 60-45.
"We played well. We were able to beat up a good ball club. It is always nice to get a series win," said Braves outfielder Justin Upton.
Kris Medlen (7-10) gave up two runs on eight hits while striking out four over six innings to snap a three-start losing streak. Craig Kimbrel needed just eight pitches to notch his NL-best 31st save of the season.
Shelby Miller (10-7) was charged with three runs -- two earned -- on six hits over 5 2/3 innings to absorb his first loss since June 28.
"You never want to go into a place and get swept. We were battling the whole time. It's not like we had a terrible series, we just didn't come out on top in any of the games. There were some tough losses," said Miller.
Miller also had two hits, including an RBI double, and Carlos Beltran drove in a run for the Cardinals, who were swept for just the second time all season.
Atlanta took a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Johnson laced a two-out single down the right-field line and made his way to third when the ball skipped past Beltran in the corner. Simmons then cracked a base hit to center to score Johnson.
Heyward smashed a leadoff homer in the third to put the Braves up 2-0.
The Cardinals tied the game in the fifth. Pete Kozma ripped a one-out double to right then scored after Miller laced a double to the right-center gap to put the Cards on the board. Beltran then dropped a base hit into shallow left field to score Miller.
The Braves took the lead with a pair of runs in the sixth. Johnson and Simmons reached on back-to-back two-out singles before Terdoslavich sent a grounder through the hole on the left side to push Johnson across. Heyward followed with an RBI single of his own to make it 4-2.
Atlanta tacked on one more in the eighth. Johnson doubled, and after Simmons flew out, Reed Johnson bounced an infield single to the left side. Kozma fired a dart to first but Allen Craig was unable to hold on to the throw and Chris Johnson came around to score.
Chris Johnson, who has hit safely in six straight games, passed Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (.334) for the NL lead in batting average at .338 ... Atlanta went 4-for-7 with runners in scoring position ... St. Louis was swept by the Texas Rangers June 21-23 ... Game time: 2:58.