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Текущее время: 15.11.2018 03:01:44

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Asked how the Atlanta Braves have surprised many experts by establishing a three-game lead in the National League East at the season’s halfway point Kalen Ballage Color Rush Jersey , catcher Kurt Suzuki didn’t hesitate.

“This team has no fear,” he said Saturday night after an 11-4 victory in St. Louis. “We have a lot of young guys but we also have some veterans. We approach every game the same way.”

Atlanta’s consistency has been too much for the Cardinals this weekend. Behind solid starting pitching and an explosive offense, the Braves (47-34) have outscored St. Louis 16-5 in winning the series’ first two games. They go for a sweep on Sunday at Busch Stadium.

Right-hander Mike Foltynewicz (5-4, 2.14 ERA) will try to match what Julio Teheran and Max Fried have done in the series. Neither allowed a run in a combined 12 2/3 innings, with Fried enjoying the best outing of his short big league career Saturday night.

The former first-round pick of the San Diego Padres allowed only four hits and three walks in 6 2/3 innings, recording 11 strikeouts against the whiff-prone Cardinals. The hard-throwing Foltynewicz made his return from the 10-day disabled list Monday night, allowing one hit and one run in five innings while walking four and fanning four against Cincinnati in a no-decision.

“The arm was just kind of heavy,” he said to mlb.com. “You can’t really practice these situations when you’re out there with your adrenaline running, but just a couple of times I just couldn’t really extend too far. But adrenaline pushed me through.”

Foltynewicz has faced St. Louis three times in his career, going 1-2 with a 9.95 ERA and yielding a whopping 22 hits over 12 2/3 innings.

In an attempt to avoid a fourth straight loss, the Cardinals (42-39) will turn to former Atlanta prospect John Gant (2-2, 3.48). Gant, replacing the disabled Michael Wacha in the rotation, pitched the best game of his career Monday night, limiting Cleveland to an infield single by Yan Gomes over seven innings in a 5-0 victory.

Gant walked five and fanned four, but his off-speed pitches kept the Indians off-balance all game and enabled him to post his first win as a starter.

“We’re lucky the third base bag got in the way of Gomes’ (grounder) or we wouldn’t have had anything,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said to mlb.com of Gant’s performance.

Before plating four runs in the ninth inning Saturday night, St. Louis managed two runs in its previous 26 innings. Its offense has been primarily singles and homers, as it’s on pace for the fewest doubles and triples in the majors.

Help may be on the way when the Cardinals start a nine-game road trip Monday night against Arizona. Shortstop Paul DeJong may be activated off the disabled list after a weekend rehab stint for Triple-A Memphis.

That could result in the move of first baseman Jose Martinez, who’s on a 100-RBI pace but has been poor afield, to his natural outfield position. In fact, Martinez played the last three innings Saturday night in right field.

“Jose Martinez has earned a spot in the lineup every day, so we have to figure out a spot to play him,” general manager Michael Girsch said to mlb.com.

Wil Myers helped give the San Diego Padres an early lead and closer Brad Hand barely held onto it.

Myers homered, doubled and drove in three runs, and rookie Joey Lucchesi threw five scoreless innings to lead San Diego to a 4-3 victory against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday night.

The Padres had to hang on after Hand got himself into trouble in the ninth and then got out of it to earn his 23rd save Durham Smythe Color Rush Jersey , thanks to some help from right fielder Hunter Renfroe.

Hand gave up two quick runs on doubles by Elias Diaz and Austin Meadows, and a triple by Gregory Polanco. The reliever got Jordy Mercer to fly out to Renfroe in shallow right field. Renfroe then caught pinch-hitter Jose Osuna’s foul ball near the seats and made a strong throw to hold Polanco at third. Hand struck out Starling Marte to end it.

”I don’t think he lacks for confidence,” Padres manager Andy Green said of Hand, San Diego’s only All-Star last year. ”He’s got those situations where he’s just got to finish his pitches better than he did tonight. He doesn’t rattle. You’ve got one of the faster runners in the game on third base with nobody out and a one-run game, and there’s not many pitchers that are getting out of that. He managed to get out of that.”

Said Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle: ”It’s a life of a closer. If you look at the numbers against him all year, he’s tough to hit. He’s been very successful. … I thought some breaking balls got left over the plate.”

Myers, limited to 19 games this season due to injuries, homered to right off Trevor Williams (6-6) with one out in the third, his second. Myers then chased the San Diegan with a two-run double to left to give the Padres a 4-0 lead with two outs in the fifth.

Myers returned June 21 after missing 47 games with a strained muscle in his side.

”He’s getting closer and closer and is looking more like himself,” Green said.

The manager was impressed with Myers using all fields.

”I feel good,” Myers said. ”It’s just one of those things where you constantly work on your approach.”

San Diego won for just the third time in 13 games.

Williams, a 2010 graduate of Rancho Bernardo High, was trying to become the second straight local product to beat his hometown Padres. On Friday night, Joe Musgrove, a 2011 graduate of Grossmont High in suburban El Cajon, threw seven scoreless innings in a 6-3 victory.

But Williams gave up four runs and four hits in 4 2/3 innings, with four strikeouts and two walks. He also allowed an RBI grounder by Freddy Galvis in the second that brought in Christian Villanueva, who doubled and advanced on Jose Pirela’s single.

Williams walked Austin Hedges and pinch-hitter Matt Szczur with one out in the fifth. They advanced on Travis Jankowski’s sacrifice bunt ahead of Myers’ big double.

”I kind of lost my fastball command in that fifth inning, and I had to rely on my off-speed pitches,” Williams said. ”I kind of put myself in bad situations. Two walks in a row are tough. You can’t really defend walks. Wil Myers is a good hitter and he guessed right on a heater up, and did well.”

Lucchesi (4-3) won for the first time since April 28. He was making his third start since missing five weeks with a strained right hip. The left-hander allowed one hit while striking out five and walking four.

San Diego’s Matt Strahm yielded a run and two hits in the sixth.

UP NEXT

Pirates: RHP Jameson Taillon (5-6, 3.96 ERA) is 1-0 with a 1.26 ERA in two career starts against San Diego.

Padres: RHP Tyson Ross (5-5, 3.32) is scheduled for the Padres, who have won seven of his last nine starts.


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