Final in 12

Series: Game 1 of 3

Atlanta leads 1-0 (as of 5/11)

Game 1: Friday, May 11
Atlanta9Final
in 12
St. Louis7
Game 2: Saturday, May 12
Atlanta7Final
St. Louis2
Game 3: Sunday, May 13
Atlanta7Final
St. Louis4

Braves 9

(20-13, 12-8 away)

Cardinals 7

(20-12, 8-5 home)

    Coverage:  FSMW

    8:15 PM ET, May 11, 2012

    Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri 

    23456789101112 R H E
    ATL 03000110002 9 13 0
    STL 10230010000 7 13 1

    W: L. Hernandez (1-0)

    L: K. McClellan (0-1)

    S: C. Kimbrel (11)

    Jason Heyward's home run gives Braves win in 12 innings vs. St. Louis

    Associated Press

    ST. LOUIS -- The way Carlos Beltran was swinging, Atlanta Braves relievers felt as if they had to face the St. Louis Cardinals' cleanup man every inning.

    Jason Heyward got the swing that really counted, hitting a two-run homer in the 12th inning of a 9-7 victory Friday night, putting a damper on the Cardinals' celebration honoring former manager Tony La Russa.

    "I thought Beltran was going to beat us every time he came to the plate, and he almost did," Heyward said. "I just got enough of it. I tried to stay simple, not try to do too much."

    Dan Uggla homered and Michael Bourn had three hits for the Braves. Craig Kimbrel gave up a hit but struck out two for his National League-leading 11th save in 12 chances.

    Beltran homered twice during a four-hit day for the Cardinals that also included a two-run triple. In addition, Matt Carpenter and Allen Craig went deep.

    "Anytime you're seeing it well, it's a good feeling," Beltran said. "Unfortunately, we just couldn't finish them off."

    A sellout crowd was on hand to watch the Cardinals retire La Russa's No. 10 in a pregame ceremony that included several of the manager's former players. But seven Atlanta relievers combined for 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball, helping the Braves end a seven-game losing streak in St. Louis that included a three-game sweep last September that propelled the Cardinals past Atlanta for the NL wild card on the way to their second World Series championship in five years.

    "They've had a good team here for years, and they have another good team," Heyward said. "Our pitchers hung in there; our defense hung in there."

    St. Louis loaded the bases in the 10th and 11th but came up empty against Livan Hernandez (1-0). Pinch hitter David Freese grounded into an inning-ending double play to end the 10th, and Craig popped out to second to end the 11th.

    "We had some opportunities to finish it off," manager Mike Matheny said. "We just couldn't make it happen."

    Chipper Jones, who got a standing ovation before his first at-bat to begin his final scheduled series in St. Louis, walked against Kyle McClellan (0-1) to start the 12th. Heyward followed with his fifth homer to the power alley in left-center, close to the wall decal of La Russa unveiled several hours earlier.

    Beltran tied it at 7 in the eighth, driving Jonny Venters' pitch to the visitors' bullpen in left-center. Beltran's team-high 12th homer was the first of the year off Venters, who hit his first batter of the year later in the eighth.

    Beltran had a grand slam and six RBIs in a two-homer game at Arizona on Tuesday. He now has 33 career multihomer games, including three this season, and has 10 homers and 31 RBIs in 91 career at-bats at 7-year-old Busch Stadium.

    He's 11-for-26 (.423) during a six-game hitting streak.

    "From the eighth inning on, it seemed like Beltran hit every inning," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "I was looking to see if somebody was batting out of order over there.

    "Every time we left a mistake out over the plate, he hurt us."

    The Cardinals are the majors' second-highest scoring team and the Braves are third, and the matchup lived up to that billing.

    The Braves scored twice on passed balls in the first when Yadier Molina couldn't track down Jaime Garcia pitches that darted. Atlanta then doubled four times in a span of five at-bats in the third to give Mike Minor a 5-1 lead.

    Beltran and Craig homered in a span of three pitches in the fourth for St. Louis, which chased Minor with four consecutive two-out hits in the fifth. Beltran's 11th homer was estimated at 454 feet, the second longest at Busch, and his triple in the fifth put the Cardinals up 6-5.

    Uggla hit his fifth homer off the facade in the second deck in left against Marc Rzepczynski in the seventh, and Freddie Freeman's infield hit with the bases loaded put Atlanta up 7-6 in the eighth.

    Minor's past three outings have been the worst of his short career. He surrendered six runs in 4 2/3 innings, his shortest outing of the season, and has an 11.81 ERA the past three while giving up 21 earned runs in 16 innings.

    Garcia has been just as ineffective lately, allowing 12 earned runs in 10 2/3 innings his past two starts with a pair of no-decisions. Garcia gave up five runs, four earned, in 5 2/3 innings against Atlanta.

    Game notes


    Carpenter started at 3B in place of Freese, who got a day off aside from the pinch-hit appearance. ... The Cardinals had targeted Friday to activate 1B Lance Berkman (calf) off the 15-day disabled list, but he remains day-to-day. ... Braves pinch hitter Eric Hinske was ejected after striking out in the eighth and arguing that he had checked his swing. Hinske is 3-for-18 as a pinch hitter, and the Braves are 8-for-51 overall (.157). ... Craig has four homers in five games.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Game Information

    StadiumBusch Stadium, St. Louis, MO
    Attendance45,190 (102.8% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
    Game Time3:56
    Weather76 degrees, cloudy
    Wind4 mph
    UmpiresHome Plate - Mike Muchlinski, First Base - Wally Bell, Second Base - Brian Knight, Third Base - Mike Winters

    Research Notes

    FROM ELIAS: Matt Holliday douled in the 5th inning and has reached base in 40 straight games against the Braves. That's the longest streak against the Braves since Pete Rose reached base in 49 consecutive games against Atlanta from 1972 to 1975. It's the second-longest current on-base streak for an active player against one team. Former teammate Albert Pujols has a hit, walk or HBP in each of his last 44 games against the Royals.
    Carlos Beltran has his third multi-home run game in the last 10 days. The only other month in his career with three multi-homer games was July 2006.

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