Heyward homers, Minor tosses a gem as Braves top Cardinals 4-1

Scott Cunningham

A pitching duel between Mike Minor and Adam Wainwright was expected coming into tonight's game. While Wainwright didn't pitch badly, it was Minor who stole the show and put on dominant performance en route to a 4-1 Braves win over St. Louis. The 25-year old left-hander fired seven strong innings, striking out five while walking none and allowing just one run on four hits.

After giving up a second inning home run to Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, Minor retired 17 of the next 20 batters to completely shutdown the National League's best offense.

The Braves got the lead right back with RBI singles from Chris Johnson and Minor in the bottom of the second inning against Wainwright. Jason Heyward added an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth when he crushed a high fastball backside into the stands for his eighth homer of the season. It was his first home run since July 6th, and was just the seventh homer allowed by Wainwright all season.

Heyward also flashed the leather tonight, making a key running catch and a strong throw to keep Kozma on third base in the third inning, then made a diving grab to rob David Freese of a base-hit in the fifth inning.

A Pete Kozma throwing error allowed Chris Johnson to score in the bottom of the seventh inning, making it a 4-1 game. That would be the end of the line for Wainwright, who finished with a line of 7 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K.

Jordan Walden threw a scoreless eighth, and Craig Kimbrel struck out two in the ninth to record his 29th save of the season and slam the door on the Cardinals. The Braves are back in action tomorrow at 3:05 PM ET on Fox Saturday Baseball.

Win expectancy chart


Source: FanGraphs

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