The Braves spoiled Friday night’s Tony La Russa number-retirement ceremony at Busch Stadium by snatching a 9-7 extra-innings win over the Cardinals.
On Saturday evening, they were at it again.
With 25-year-old righty Brandon Beachy holding the defending World Series champions to two hits over six innings and the Atlanta offense attacking St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright for five earned runs on nine hits, the Braves picked up their second straight victory with a convincing 7-2 win.
The Braves are now 21-13 on the year with a +31 run differential that ranks second — only to the Cardinals at +68 — in the National League.
They’ll be looking for a big early-season sweep on Sunday afternoon.
Your Saturday box scores:
Braves 7, Cardinals 2
Cubs 2, Brewers 8
Angels 4, Rangers 2
Mets 9, Marlins 3
Mariners 2, Yankees 6
Rays 3, Orioles 5
Padres 2, Phillies 1
Astros 2, Pirates 5
Indians 1, Red Sox 4
Royals 5, White Sox 0
Blue Jays 2, Twins 1
Nationals 2, Reds 1
Tigers 1, Athletics 3
Giants 5, Diamondbacks 2
Rockies 1, Dodgers 2
No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.
Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.
Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.