ATLANTA — Two big swings and one last 98-mph fastball left the Atlanta Braves with a giant sigh of relief.
Dan Uggla hit a three-run homer and Michael Bourn also went deep Tuesday night, leading the Braves to a 5-4 win over the St. Louis Cardinals that snapped an eight-game losing streak – Atlanta’s longest in more than two years.
“This is not an indication of what’s going to happen the next day or the next week or the next month,” Uggla said. “But it definitely snaps the feeling of, ‘Aww, man, are we ever going to win again?’ ”
Bourn led off the bottom of the first with his fifth homer of the season, tying a career high. Uggla made it 4-0 in the third, sending one into the seats in left-center. The Cardinals closed within a run in the seventh, but Eric O’Flaherty and Craig Kimbrel each worked one perfect inning with two strikeouts to preserve the win.
Kimbrel earned his 14th save, ending the game by fanning Matt Holliday. The right-hander pumped his fist and slapped hands with his teammates, everyone looking as though a weight had been lifted.
“Everyone knows how bad we’ve been scuffling,” Uggla said. “When you get that first one, it eases the tension, eases the pressure. We know what it feels like to win again. It was obviously a big night for us.”
Randall Delgado (3-5) worked into the sixth, allowing three runs, and the Cardinals got closer in the seventh on Yadier Molina’s third RBI of the night, a run-scoring single. He went 4 for 4, including a solo homer.
Jake Westbrook (4-4) struggled to keep his sinker down and lasted only five innings.
“That’s a couple of games in a row I’ve put us in a hole,” he said. “I’ve got to do a better job.”
Westbrook gave up only five hits, but the long ball sent him to his fourth consecutive start without a win. Bourn drove a 2-2 pitch into the seats to start the Atlanta first, tying the career high for homers that he set with Houston in 2008.
“I’m not trying to hit home runs,” Bourn said. “They just come when they come.”