Maholm greeted rudely in return, Braves fall to Cardinals 6-2

Dilip Vishwanat

The loss is Maholm's fourth straight in his last four starts. Justin Upton homered for Atlanta.

Paul Maholm's return was not a good one for the Braves. Maholm allowed five runs in 5.1 innings to the Cardinals, who won 6-2.

Atlanta fell behind in the fourth inning on David Freese's RBI groundout, but Justin Upton quickly turned that deficit around with a two-run homer in the fifth off Cardinals starter Joe Kelly. Maholm hadn't allowed a hit until Matt Holliday led off the fourth with a double.

The lead was short-lived, unfortunately, as more doubles abounded in the fifth. Maholm walked Pete Kozma, hitless in his previous 21 at-bats, with one out before giving up three straight run-scoring doubles to Matt Carpenter, Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday.

Maholm couldn't finish the sixth inning, getting pulled from the game following a throwing error by Andrelton Simmons that put runners at first and third. Further trouble ensued when a wild pitch by Luis Ayala allowed another run to score. David Freese drove home another run in the seventh for the Cardinals.

Elliot Johnson had two hits in his Braves debut.

True to form this year, St. Louis was 4-12 in RISP for the game; Atlanta was 0-3 with eight runners stranded. Upton's home run was Atlanta's only extra-base hit of the team's nine total hits.

Win Expectancy Chart

Source: FanGraphs
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