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
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.