Atlanta Braves complete sweep of St. Louis Cardinals

Braves 7, Cardinals 4

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ST. LOUIS — All weekend, the Atlanta Braves got the key hits, got the big outs from their pitchers.

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Atlanta starter Tommy Hanson allowed one run in five innings and had nine strikeouts in Sunday's victory over St. Louis. Atlanta swept a series from St. Louis for the first time since Sept. 2009, and improved to 22-9.  CHRIS LEE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
CHRIS LEE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Atlanta starter Tommy Hanson allowed one run in five innings and had nine strikeouts in Sunday's victory over St. Louis. Atlanta swept a series from St. Louis for the first time since Sept. 2009, and improved to 22-9.

Jason Heyward had just three hits, but two of them put them ahead for good.

Heyward ended a 10-pitch at-bat with a bases-clearing double in third inning, helping the Braves give rookie Lance Lynn his first loss and beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-4 Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.

“It was a battle,” Heyward said. “I just tried to keep perfecting my timing on every pitch. I just wanted to get a pitch to hit and hit it, or get a walk.

“I know it took a lot of out of him.”

Tommy Hanson (4-3) allowed one run in five innings with a season-high nine strikeouts and Martin Prado, Freddie Freeman and Dan Uggla each had an RBI in a three-run seventh. The Braves had lost seven in a row in St. Louis before Friday and swept the Cardinals for the first time since Sept. 11-13, 2009, also in St. Louis.

All seven of Atlanta’s runs came with two outs.

“We’re rolling right now,” Hanson said. “We’re playing good baseball and doing good things on the road, so hopefully we can go back home and keep it up.”

The Heyward at-bat cost Lynn (6-1) a chance to become the franchise’s first pitcher to win his first seven starts of the season dating to 1920, according to STATS LLC.

“You don’t want to pitch to him in those situations,” Lynn said. “I walked two guys in front of him and you can’t do that and give a guy like that a chance. And he beat me.”

Carlos Beltran homered for the sixth time in six games with his league-leading 13th of the season and Allen Craig hit a three-run homer off Cristhian Martinez in the ninth for his fifth homer in seven games.

The Braves totaled 56 runs during a 7-2 trip, including a pair of extra-inning victories, and also swept a three-game series at Colorado. Since losing its first four games of the season, Atlanta is a major-league best 22-9 with four road series wins.

Lynn threw a season-high 121 pitches in six innings, retiring his last eight in order, but the Braves made him work early by fouling off 26 pitches the first three innings. He’s among three Cardinals to win their first six starts, along with Bob Tewksbury (1994) and Max Lanier (1946).

Chipper Jones entered in a double switch in the sixth and was 0 for 1 with a walk in his final regular season appearance in St. Louis. The 40-year-old Jones is retiring after the season and received a Cardinals jersey autographed by boyhood idol Stan Musial in a pregame ceremony.

TODAY’S GAME

WHO: Cincinnati Reds (Homer Bailey, 4.93, 1-3) at Atlanta Braves (Randall Delgado, 4.54, 2-3)

TIME/TV: 7:10 p.m., SportSouth

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