MLB Five-run first inning boosts Braves to win over Cardinals

Austin Riley and William Contreras each hit a two-run homer in the first inning and the Atlanta Braves rolled to a 7-1 win over the visiting St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday.

The power surge was part of a five-run uprising — the second straight game the Braves have produced a five-run inning. The Braves have won six of their last eight games and two straight over St. Louis to open the four-game series.

Riley, who was 3-for-4, hit his 21st homer, third-most in the National League, and Contreras hit his 10th homer, his first since June 12.

The offense benefited Ian Anderson (7-5), who ended a two-game losing streak. Anderson pitched five innings and allowed one run on eight hits, one walk and three strikeouts. Anderson was struggling in his final inning, but retired Dylan Carlson on a grounder to first base to end a bases-loaded threat.

The bullpen finished the game, getting two scoreless innings from Collin McHugh, one inning from Tyler Matzek and one inning from Jackson Stephens.

St. Louis starter Andre Pallante (2-4) pitched just 3 2/3 innings and allowed season-highs in runs (seven) and hits (10), with five strikeouts in his first career appearance against the Braves.

The Cardinals bullpen shut down the Braves the rest of the way. Packy Naughton (2 1/3 innings), Junior Fernandez (one inning) and Zack Thompson (one inning) finished the game.

The Cardinals scored a run off of Anderson with a two-out rally in the first. St. Louis had three straight singles, with Nolan Gorman driving in Paul Goldschmidt.

The Braves answered with five runs in the bottom of the first inning. Ronald Acuna Jr. singled, stole second, took third on a wild pitch and scored on Matt Olson’s single. Riley followed with an opposite field two-run home run to right. Marcell Ozuna doubled and scored when Contreras launched a two-out homer.

Atlanta scored two more times in the fourth inning. Olson doubled home Michael Harris II, who legged out an infield hit and stole second and third base. Olson scored on a double by Riley.

–Field Level Media

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