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In games where the St. Louis Cardinals hit homers and pitch well Womens
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, they generally walk off the field with a
win.

But on nights where they can’t connect with the long ball, they don’t
consistently make up for it with situational hitting or defense. Friday night’s
5-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves was another example of that trend rearing its
ugly head.

After failing to cash in leadoff walks in the bottom of the first against
Braves starter Julio Teheran, St. Louis simply couldn’t crack the code. It
eventually caught up with the Cardinals as they were held to one run for their
second straight game.

For St. Louis (42-38) to even the series Saturday night at Busch Stadium, the
Cardinals will have to do a better job of converting runners in scoring position
into runs while not giving up extra outs defensively. The Cardinals’ three
errors Friday night marked their 17th multi-error game in 80 games.

St. Louis is on a pace to commit more than 130 miscues this year, continuing
a three-season trend of below-average defense. Permitting good teams like
Atlanta (46-34) four or five outs in an inning is a recipe for disaster.

The Braves started a 10-game road trip with a positive result. Third baseman
Johan Camargo was the offensive star, going 3-for-5 with two runs and a two-run
double off Jordan Hicks in the eighth that broke open a 1-0 game.

“Baseball is all about its ups and downs,” Camargo said. “For me, it’s all
about maintaining the focus and just staying the path.”

Atlanta essentially heeded Camargo’s credo, bouncing back from consecutive
series losses against last-place teams Baltimore and Cincinnati. It will turn to
left-hander Max Fried (0-2, 4.09 ERA) on Saturday to secure a series win.

Fried is replacing veteran right-hander Brandon McCarthy, who was put on the
10-day disabled list Thursday with a knee injury. A former first-round pick of
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, Fried will make his first start since going five
innings and giving up one earned run on May 28 in a no-decision against the New
York Mets.

It will be the second career appearance against the Cardinals for Fried, who
last year tossed a scoreless inning in relief against them.

Right-hander Luke Weaver (4-6, 4.59) will look for his second straight win
for St. Louis. Weaver shrugged off a rough first inning Sunday in Milwaukee to
grab an 8-2 win, fanning a season-high nine over 5 2/3 innings while yielding
two runs off five hits and two walks.

Weaver needed 32 pitches to make it through a two-run first inning, but
started finding the range with his off-speed pitches. That made his fastball
play bigger, and he rolled through the middle innings while the Cardinals bombed
Jhoulys Chacin out of the box with five runs in the fourth and two more in the
fifth.

“The first inning, it was like, ‘Here we go again.’ It means a lot for him to
right the ship,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny told mlb.com.

Weaver, who snapped a seven-start winless streak in Milwaukee, will make his
first career appearance against the Braves.

The St. Louis Cardinals left
Arizona feeling a little bit better about themselves Customized
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, thanks to a late-inning surge by the
offense and another strong outing from Miles Mikolas.

The Cardinals scored seven times in the seventh and eighth innings to beat
Arizona 8-4 on Wednesday night. After coming to town on a four-game losing
streak and off a three-game sweep at the hands of Atlanta, St. Louis took two of
three from the first-place Diamondbacks.

Yadier Molina’s three-run homer on the first pitch from reliever Fernando
Salas highlighted a five-run Cardinals seventh inning after Arizona had nursed a
2-1 lead through six in front of a sellout crowd of 44,072.

”Had some big hits today,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. ”It allows
those big five-run innings to happen. Wear the pitcher down, wear the defense
down. Then you have Yadi come in and do something special on the back end.”

Tommy Pham drove in three Cardinals runs with a double and two singles. Matt
Carpenter doubled twice and singled with one RBI.

”Carp kind of set the tone. He got on base a lot,” Pham said. ”I think we had
good at-bats. Even when the results weren’t there, we made guys throw pitches.
That’s key. If a guy is taking four or five plus pitches to get outs, that means
you are grinding as a hitter. When you put that together as a team, it wears out
pitching staffs.”

The Diamondbacks dropped to 1-5 on their homestand and lead the surging Los
Angeles Dodgers by just a half-game in the NL West.

Mikolas (9-3) gave up two runs and seven hits, walked four and struck out
three.

Arizona reliever Yoshihisa Hirano (2-1) had his franchise-record streak of 26
games without allowing a run end when Yairo Munoz homered to lead off the
seventh. Hirano gave up four runs, one earned Customized
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, on three hits in two-thirds of an
inning for his first loss since coming to the major leagues from Japan this
season.

”Yoshi’s human,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. ”That’s what it
means, right? And he’s absolutely spoiled us. He’s been a slam-dunk reliever and
he made a really tough game look easy for a long time.”

After Munoz’s homer, shortstop Ketel Marte booted pinch-hitter Tyler
O’Neill’s grounder for an error. With one out and O’Neill on second, Pham
singled to center to put the Cardinals up 3-2. Center fielder Jarrod Dyson left
the game with discomfort in his right groin area, Lovullo said.

Salas relieved Hirano and gave up the big hit to Molina, who homered twice in
the series.

”It was like two totally different games,” Lovullo said. ”The first six
innings were exactly the way you’d like to see guys go out and execute and do
their job, and then the final three innings unfortunately we couldn’t execute in
a lot of key areas.”

HARD-LUCK LEFTY

Arizona starter Patrick Corbin allowed one run and six hits in six innings,
his third straight strong outing without a decision. He’s given up two runs in
19 innings during those three starts.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: Paul DeJong (broken left hand) homered and doubled and played
shortstop all nine innings Tuesday night in his fourth rehab game for Triple-A
Memphis. Matheny said DeJong would not be activated Thursday in San Francisco
but could be at some time during the four-game series.

Diamondbacks: Right-handed reliever Randall Delgado (left oblique strain) was
scheduled to make another rehab appearance for Triple-A Reno and is expected to
be activated Thursday, the end of his rehab assignment. … OF Steven Souza Jr.
(strained right pectoral) had Wednesday off in his rehab assignment with Reno
after homering twice for the Aces on Tuesday night. Souza has three homers in
his last two rehab games.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: Head to San Francisco for four games against the Giants. RHP Luke
Weaver (4-7 Customized Kansas
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, 5.16 ERA) starts for St. Louis in Thursday
night’s opener. Johnny Cueto (3-0, 0.84) comes off the disabled list to pitch
for the Giants.

Diamondbacks: RHP Shelby Miller (0-2, 11.42), following two rough starts in
his return from Tommy John surgery, takes the mound Thursday night in the opener
of a four-game home series against San Diego. LHP Eric Lauer (3-5, 5.08) goes
for the Padres.


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