ST. LOUIS — — Corey Dickerson tied the game with an infield single and Tyler O’Neill walked with the bases loaded, all in the bottom of the ninth inning, to give the St. Louis Cardinals a 6-5 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night.
“This is a very, very good team,” Cardinals designated hitter Brendan Donovan said. “Any time you can beat a team like that down the stretch it’s good. Not that we needed a morale booster, but it makes you feel better about yourself.”
Nolan Arenado and Andrew Knizner homered for the Cardinals, who posted their sixth win of the season.
Donovan doubled with one out off Kenley Jansen (5-1) in the ninth and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Jansen walked Paul Goldschmidt and hit Nolan Arenado to load the bases.
“Usually it’s very tough,” Arenado said of Jansen. “Regardless of whether he’s not throwing strikes, his ball moves a lot and he’s still a great pitcher. I think it’s safe to say that he and Morton didn’t feel as good as they wanted to today.”
Dickerson singled off shortstop Dansby Swanson, scoring Donovan and tying the game. Jansen then walked O’Neill on five pitches to blow his fifth save in 34 chances.
“Everything was flat,” Jansen said. “This is the one you have to let go of. Is rare. Don’t even worry about it. Tomorrow is another day, and that’s the beauty of this game: I can face the same hitters again, I can go to work and get back to normal.”
O’Neill also got a hit-by-pitch outing on August 16 against Colorado to become the first player to earn RBIs without hitting the ball twice in the same month since Cincinnati’s Tracy Jones walked at 28 and 30. June 1988, according to STATS.
“It’s the way it works,” O’Neill said. “It’s a crazy game.”
Ryan Helsley (8-1) pitched a scoreless ninth inning in his first appearance since Aug. 16 after missing eight games due to the birth of his first child.
Travis d’Arnaud homered for the Braves and Austin Riley added three hits.
Charlie Morton allowed four runs on five hits and three walks and struck out four batters, but sat out the decision.
“He wasn’t as ready as he used to be,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “That too will pass. He left the game with a lead and had a chance to win the game.”
Jordan Montgomery allowed five runs on eight hits in five innings after giving up just one run in 25 2/3 innings in his first four starts with St. Louis.
D’Arnaud hit his 14th home run of the season after Matt Olson and Riley led off the fourth inning with singles. Montgomery had retired nine straight batters after Dansby Swanson’s leadoff single.
Michael Harris II drove in William Contreras with a single up the middle later in the fourth inning to push Atlanta’s lead to 4-0.
Knizner hit a two-run homer to the Braves’ left center field bullpen for his second home run of the season, cutting Atlanta’s lead to 4–2 in the bottom of the fourth.
Olson and Riley hit back-to-back doubles with two outs in the fifth inning to give Atlanta a 5-2 lead.
Arenado responded in the bottom of the inning with a two-run homer to left field, his 27th of the season, cutting the Cardinals’ deficit to 5-4.
The Cardinals took Arenado off the paternity list and recalled LHP Zack Thompson from Triple-A Memphis. The club sent 1B/OF Juan Yepez and LHP Genesis Cabrera to Memphis. Cabrera allowed five runs on six hits in one inning Friday night and is 1-1 with a 10.38 ERA in 14 starts since July 9.
Atlanta: Placed RHP Jackson Stephens on the seven-day concussion disabled list and called up RHP Jay Jackson from Triple-A Gwinnett. Stephens left Friday night’s game after being hit in the head by a line drive from Brendan Donovan’s bat.
“They checked it out last night,” Snitker said. “It was all good. It just has to lay low for a while.”
St. Louis: LHP Steven Matz (sprained left MCL) threw 37 pitches from the mound at Busch Stadium before the game as he works to return in relief in September.
UNTIL NEXT TIME:
Cardinals RHP Adam Wainwright (9-9, 3.11 ERA) will face the team that selected him 30th in the 2000 draft. He has the highest career winning percentage (.714) of all active pitchers with al least 15 starts against Atlanta. Braves RHP Jake Odorizzi (5-5, 3.95 ERA), from Highland, Illinois, just 30 miles east of St. Louis, is 2-1 with a 2.91 ERA in four career starts against the Braves team. his hometown.