The Atlanta Braves ruined Tony La Russa’s special night Friday and put their foot down with a convincing win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday. After getting knocked out of the playoffs on the final day of the regular season by the Cardinals last fall, the Braves are trying to get as many wins as they can as early as they can. Atlanta has pulled to within one-half game of the National League East lead and sits second – one behind St. Louis – in the NL in runs scored. The Cardinals will be looking to avoid their first three-game sweep Sunday.
St. Louis had not dropped a home series before this weekend, when Atlanta clinched the three-game set in a 7-2 victory Saturday. The Braves got a rare home run from Michael Bourn in the contest and are averaging 9.0 runs in their last seven wins. The Cardinals had put up at least six runs in five straight before running into Brandon Beachy on Saturday. Allen Craig, working out of the cleanup spot for St. Louis, drove in his 13th run Saturday in his ninth game.
Braves Cardinals Betting
When: 2:15 PM ET, Sunday, May 13, 2012
Where: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri
TV: 2:15 p.m. ET, TBS, SportSouth (Atlanta), FS Midwest (St. Louis)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Braves RH Tommy Hanson (3-3, 3.63) vs. Cardinals RH Lance Lynn (6-0, 1.40 ERA)
Hanson has not found his former velocity since suffering a shoulder injury last season but has still been strong, allowing two runs or less in five of his seven starts. The 25-year-old surrendered two runs last time out but suffered the loss at Chicago. Hanson has made only one start against St. Louis in the past, yielding two runs in seven innings and not factoring in the decision on Sept. 11, 2010.
Lynn has been one of the best pitchers in the majors, ranking third in ERA and first in wins. The right-hander, who turned 25 on Saturday, struck out seven in five scoreless innings at Arizona on Monday and has punched out 37 in 38 2/3 frames. Lynn has never faced the Braves.
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1. Cardinals first baseman/outfielder Lance Berkman, who has been on the disabled list since April 19 with a calf injury, could come off the disabled list Sunday.
2. St. Louis gave an update on right-hander Chris Carpenter (shoulder) Saturday, saying the former Cy Young winner could begin a throwing program next month and be back around the All-Star break.
3. Bourn has homered twice in each of the past two seasons and topped out at five with the Astros in 2008.