Series: Game 2 of 3

Atlanta leads 2-0 (as of 9/12)

Game 1: Friday, September 11
St. Louis0
Game 2: Saturday, September 12
St. Louis6
Game 3: Sunday, September 13
St. Louis2

Braves 7

(74-68, 39-35 away)

Cardinals 6

(84-59, 43-28 home)

    4:10 PM ET, September 12, 2009

    Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri 

    123456789 R H E
    ATL 030110002 7 13 2
    STL 200101020 6 11 0

    W: M. Gonzalez (4-4)

    L: R. Franklin (2-3)

    S: R. Soriano (24)

    With late double, Braves hand Cardinals rare consecutive loss

    Associated Press

    ST. LOUIS -- Brian McCann knew he got his pitch. What he didn't know was how well he hit it.

    Brian McCann hit a two-run double in the top of the ninth off closer Ryan Franklin and the Atlanta Braves held on to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-6 on Saturday.

    Fast Facts

    • Ryan Franklin blew second straight save for his first consecutive blown saves since July 24-26 last season. He also allowed a run in back-to-back outings for the first time this season.

    • Brian McCann doubled in the winning runs and is 8-for-13 with four RBIs in his last three games. He was 5-for-46 in his previous 12 games with four RBIs.

    • In his third start back from Tommy John surgery, Tim Hudson allowed 10 hits -- as many as he allowed in his first two starts combined. He also homered for the first time in his 11-year career.

    • The Cardinals lost consecutive games for the first time in more than six weeks; they lost two in Philadelphia July 25-26.

    • The Braves have won three straight after losing six of seven.

    -- ESPN Stats & Information

    "I put together a good at-bat there in the ninth," McCann said. "I was just trying to get a pitch up in the zone and I hit it a little better and it reached the wall."

    Franklin (2-3) blew his second straight save -- and fourth of the season -- as the Cardinals dropped two in a row for the first time since July 25-26 when they lost consecutive games to Philadelphia.

    Mike Gonzalez (4-4) allowed two runs, one earned in the eighth which gave the Cardinals a 6-5 lead.

    Rafael Soriano closed out the game for Atlanta for his 24th save in 28 chances.

    After the game, Braves manager Bobby Cox was smoking a victory cigar.

    "That's a good one, you bet," Cox said. "You can never get down. Franklin's done an unbelievable job but like I tell my guys, anything can happen."

    The Cardinals rallied to take the lead in the eighth before Franklin fell apart in the ninth, allowing three hits and a walk. Nate McClouth led off with a double and Martin Prado singled him to third before Chipper Jones walked to load the bases.

    "I'm not one to lean on excuses," Franklin said. "I just would rather say I didn't get it done."

    McCann followed with a double to center that left runners on second and third with no outs, but Franklin escaped further damage with two strikeouts and a pop out.

    The Cardinals took the lead in the eighth on a run-scoring single by Yadier Molina and an RBI groundout by Brendan Ryan.

    Atlanta starter Tim Hudson allowed four runs and 10 hits in five-plus innings. He walked two and struck out one. His biggest contribution was his first career home run, a two-run shot in the second that gave the Braves a 3-2 lead.

    "Obviously its been a while since I've trotted around the bases like that," Hudson said. "I was really scared I was going to go my whole career without hitting one but it was exciting. It felt as good or better than any shutout I've thrown."

    Kyle Lohse made his first start since August 21 after returning from his second stint on the disabled list with a groin strain. He allowed four runs in 3 1/3 innings pitched, his third shortest start of the year.

    "PG-not good." Lohse said of his outing. "I just couldn't get the ball down, it seemed like it was a constant battle. There's no excuse for it, it just wasn't happening."

    Cardinals manager Tony La Russa was ejected by home plate umpire Greg Gibson for arguing balls and strikes after the sixth inning. It was La Russa's first ejection of the season.

    "I feel like when the tape is reviewed," La Russa said. "They'll see there were some close calls that we had a reason to question. You still play the game. Umpires don't beat you."

    Game notes

    The Cardinals Triple-A affiliate Memphis completed a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers Triple-A affiliate Albuquerque last night to advance to the Pacific Coast League championship. ... Cardinals pitcher John Smoltz will miss his next scheduled start Monday against Florida with shoulder tendinits and will be replaced by Todd Wellemeyer (7-9) whose last start was July 26th.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Game Information

    StadiumBusch Stadium, St. Louis, MO
    Attendance43,869 (99.8% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
    Game Time3:13
    Weather81 degrees, partly cloudy
    Wind11 mph
    UmpiresHome Plate - Greg Gibson, First Base - Ted Barrett, Second Base - Tim Mcclelland, Third Base - Andy Fletcher