Cardinals, Braves lineups for NLDS Game 2

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Last night was pretty ugly for both teams in Atlanta. Far uglier for the Braves, obviously, as they lost the dang game. Both sides are hoping for some crisper play this afternoon and evening, and here are the lineups they’re trotting out to do it:

The Cardinals provide no surprises. It’s identical to last night, save for a Wong/DeJong flip-flop:

1. Dexter Fowler (S) RF
2. Tommy Edman (S) 3B
3. Paul Goldschmidt (R) 1B
4. Marcell Ozuna (R) LF
5. Yadier Molina (R) C
6. Kolten Wong (L) 2B
7. Paul DeJong (R) SS
8. Harrison Bader (R) CF
9. Jack Flaherty (R) P

Contrary to what angry “play the game the right way” fans on Braves message boards were yelling for them to do last night, the Braves have made the savvy decision not to bench their best player, Ronald Acuña Jr.:

1. Ronald Acuna Jr. (R) CF
2. Ozzie Albies (S) 2B
3. Freddie Freeman (L) 1B
4. Josh Donaldson (R) 3B
5. Nick Markakis (L) LF
6. Matt Joyce (L) RF
7. Brian McCann (L) C
8. Dansby Swanson (R) SS
9. Mike Foltynewicz (R) P

The more apt question is whether they can bench their bullpen because those guys, and not Acuña, had way more to do with Atlanta losing that game last night.

Things get underway in the Atlanta suburbs at 4:37 PM Eastern.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

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ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.

Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.

The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.

The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.

Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).