The Braves spoil Wainwright’s homecoming, winning 8-5 against the Cardinals to avoid defeat

ATLANTA (AP) — Ronald Acuña Jr. hit two of Atlanta’s five home runs, Matt Olson increased his major league hitting total to 47 and the Braves beat a struggling Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals 8-5 on Thursday night.

With his third multihomer game of the season and the 12th of his big league career, Acuña increased his season total to 34 homers. Olson hit a home run in his fourth straight game, and Michael Harris II and Travis d’Arnaud also went deep as Atlanta (91-48) posted a major league best of 14 games in the NL East Leading ahead of second-place Philadelphia.

Max Fried (7-1) allowed three runs and six hits in six innings and improved to 5-0 in his last seven starts. He is 5-0 in his career against the Cardinals.

Wainwright (3-11), who last pitched in his home state of Georgia against the team that drafted him in 2000, allowed six runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings, including four solo homers. Since beating the New York Mets on June 17, he is at 198 wins, has lost seven straight starts and is 0-10 in 11 games.

Pierce Johnson and AJ Minter each pitched a scoreless inning, and Raisel Iglesias gave up two runs in the ninth out of the bullpen. Eddie Rosario was 3 of 4 with three RBIs and made a sliding catch to left that ended the game with two runners on.

Tommy Edman was 2 for 4 with two RBIs for the Cardinals (61-79), who would secure their first losing season since 2007 with three more losses.

Olson broke the tie at 3-3 in the fifth inning with a solo home run to center after Edman made catches against the wall in the first two outs of the inning. Acuña and Harris hit home runs in the sixth, chasing Wainwright.

Acuña Jr. hit a home run on the first pitch of the game, his sixth leadoff home run of the season, and Rosario’s two-run single later in the inning opened a 3-0 lead.

Andrew Knizner was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the second and Edman hit a two-run single. Nolan Gorman was initially ruled out by plate umpire Laz Díaz, but the decision was reversed in a video review.


Cardinals: Rookie LHP Drew Rom (0-2, 7.24) will face Cincinnati LHP Andrew Abbott (8-4, 3.22) in the opening game of a three-game series in Cincinnati on Friday.

Braves: RHP Bryce Elder (11-4, 3.42) starts against Pittburgh RHP Mitch Keller (11-8, 3.93) in the first game of a three-game series in Atlanta. The Braves spoil Wainwright’s homecoming, winning 8-5 against the Cardinals to avoid defeat

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