O’Neill’s game-ending HBP lifts Cards over Rockies 5-4

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ST. LOUIS – Paul Goldschmidt and Tommy Edman homered, and St. Louis scored the winning run when Tyler O'Neill was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning, leading the Cardinals to a 5-4 win over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.

Andrew Knizner and Lars Nootbaar drew walks off Dinelson Lamet (1-2) in the ninth, and Dylan Carlson reached on a bunt single to load the bases before O’Neill was plunked.

“They took good at-bats, worked full counts, and were able to get on there,” O’Neill said. “You could tell he was a little wild out there, so I just wanted to be a little selective, see a good pitch to hit, and ended up getting hit.”

Rockies manager Bud Black said Lamet couldn’t seem to find his release point.

“Usually when a pitcher isn’t able to find the strike zone, it’s usually release point and a little something in his delivery,” Black said.

Jose Quintana pitched no-hit ball with two walks for five innings before allowing two runs on four consecutive hits to lead off the sixth, ending his night.

“It’s a little tough when you get five straight innings quickly, and you face four hitters and now can’t get outs,” Quintana said. “The game was there, so I’m happy with how I threw the ball.”

Ryan Helsley (7-1) pitched a scoreless top of the ninth to lower his ERA to 0.91 in 49 2/3 innings this season.

Kyle Freeland allowed three runs on seven hits and struck out four batters in six innings to drop the Rockies to 13-42 since Busch Stadium III opened in 2006.

“I went back and looked at video of my start at home at Coors Field against them, and I was at the top of the zone with a lot of my arsenal,” Freeland said. “The key for me today was to get back to the bottom of the zone, execute in the bottom of the zone, and it paid off somewhat.”

Goldschmidt hit a sacrifice fly to left field off Lucas Gilbreath in the seventh inning to the the game at 4.

Charlie Blackmon hit a two-run double to right-center field off Packy Naughton in the seventh inning, driving in Wynton Bernard and Connor Joe to put Colorado up 4-3.

Bernard, a 31-year-old rookie, singled up the middle to break up Quintana’s no-hit bid and scored two batters later on a Blackmon single.

Goldschmidt’s two-run home run to left field off Freeland in the fifth inning was the 29th of the season and 100th as a member of the Cardinals.

“I had no idea how many homers I had,” Goldschmidt said. “It’s kind of crazy so I hadn’t thought about it at all, but it seems fast. It wasn’t like a goal or anything like that. I was just trying to do my job.”

Edman hit his eighth home run of the season off Freeland in the fourth inning to give St. Louis a 1-0 lead. It was his first home run since going deep on June 14 in the second game of a doubleheader against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

DOUBLE THE FUN

Blackmon’s seventh inning double gave Colorado at least one double in 36 straight games. It is the longest streak in the majors this season and the longest since the Oakland Athletics doubled in 36 straight games in 2019.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: 1B/OF Juan Yepez (right forearm strain) was held out of the lineup for Triple-A Memphis on Sunday due to illness. Yepez worked out pregame and will work with the club Wednesday before the team makes a decision on activating him or having him continue his rehab assignment.

UP NEXT:

Cardinals LHP Jordan Montgomery (5-3, 3.37 ERA) will make his first career appearance against Colorado on Wednesday night and is 2-0, having tossed 11 scoreless innings in two starts since being acquired from the New York Yankees on Aug. 2. The Rockies counter with RHP German Marquez (6-9, 5.08 ERA), who is 2-1 with a 2.58 ERA in seven career starts against St. Louis.

Braves sweep Mets, take 2-game lead in East with 3 remaining

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ATLANTA — Dansby Swanson and Matt Olson homered for the third straight game, Travis d'Arnaud hit a go-ahead two-run single in the third inning, and Atlanta Braves beat the New York Mets 5-3, completing a three-game sweep of their NL East rival and taking a two-game lead in the division with three games to play.

The defending World Series champion Braves have been chasing the Mets the entire season. In the final series of the season, any combination of one Atlanta win or one Mets loss would give the Braves their fifth straight division title.

New York plays its final three games of the season against worst-in-the-majors Washington. Atlanta closed out the regular season with a three-game set in Miami. Should the season end Wednesday in a tie, Atlanta would win the division after claiming the season series 10-9 with Sunday’s victory.

The Braves won five of the last six games in the series, outscoring the Mets 42-19 over that stretch. New York had a 10 1/2-game lead on June 1 but now is the lower in the standings than at any point this season.

It was a lost weekend for New York, which came to Atlanta hoping to clinch its first division title since 2015. Instead, aces Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer lost Friday and Saturday before 15-game winner Chris Bassitt lasted just 2 2/3 innings on Sunday.

Swanson took Bassitt deep to right-center in the first with his 25th homer, and Atlanta took charge with a three-run third. Bassitt (15-9) issued a bases-loaded walk to Olson before d’Arnaud delivered a single up the middle to score Ronald Acuna Jr. and Austin Riley for a 4-3 lead. That chased Bassitt, who was charged with four runs, three hits and three walks.

Olson connected for his 33rd homer to make it 5-3 leading off the sixth, his 410-foot shot landing in the seats in right-center. Olson, in his first year with Atlanta, surpassed 100 RBIs for the second straight season.

Charlie Morton stranded runners on first and second in the first, but he gave up Daniel Vogelbach‘s 18th homer that tied it at 1 in the second. The righty struck out Francisco Lindor with runners on first and second to end the threat.

Jeff McNeil went deep off Morton in the third and Vogelbach followed with an RBI single to put the Mets up 3-1. Morton entered the game having allowed 28 homers, sixth-most in the NL.

Morton scuffled throughout his start, giving up three runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings as the 38-year-old made his first start since signing a $20 million, one-year contract to remain with Atlanta next season.

Dylan Lee (5-1) relieved Morton and pitched 1 1/3 innings, leaving after a walk to Brandon Nimmo with two outs in the sixth. Collin McHugh entered and struck out Francisco Lindor.

Raisel Iglesias faced four batters in the seventh, A.J. Minter faced the minimum in the eighth and closer Kenley Jansen converted his third save of the series with a clean ninth.

Jansen leads the NL with 40 saves in 47 chances.

The Braves’ bullpen, which posted a 1.70 ERA last month, pitched 8 2/3 scoreless innings the last two nights.

BIG NUMBERS

Atlanta leads the NL with 241 homers. And the Braves have their first 100-victory season since 2003.

TWO, DARN HOT

McNeil went 3 for 5 and has multiple hits in five straight games. His average is .326, one point behind the Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman for the NL batting title. In 23 career games at Truist Park, McNeil is hitting .395 with 12 runs, nine doubles, two homers, seven RBIs and four walks. … Jansen tied Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley for eighth place on the career list with 389. He’s also is the 10th closer to have four different seasons with at least 40 saves.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets All-Star RF Starling Marte (right middle finger fracture) has yet to begin swinging or throwing. … Braves 2B Ozzie Albies (broken right pinky finger) is still wearing a cast. … Braves RHP Spencer Strider still has not thrown as he gets treatment on a sore left oblique.

ATTENDANCE

The Braves drew 42,713 in their regular season finale, the club’s 42nd sellout of the season. Overall. that’s 3,129,931 for the season – and the most tickets sold since 2000. In 2019, the team’s last full season before the COVID-19 pandemic, Atlanta drew 2,655,100.

UP NEXT

Mets: RHP Carlos Carrasco (15-7, 3.95 ERA) will face Nationals RHP Cory Abbott (0-4, 5.11).

Braves: RHP Bryce Elder (2-3, 2.76 ERA) will face Marlins LHP Jesus Luzardo (3-7, 3.53).