The pace was breakneck all afternoon long, but especially in the first few innings as Soroka and Wainwright traded 1-2-3 innings to begin the game. However, Soroka was the first to fault after allowing a bloop double by Marcell Ozuna followed by a groundball which advanced Ozuna to third. The next batter was Matt Carpenter who has had a horrendous season, but he grabbed an offering from Soroka and sent it just deep enough to get Ozuna in for an early 1-0 lead.
Then the pace picked back up again as neither team was able to get any traction on a cold and dreary day at Busch Stadium. Dansby Swanson picked up the Braves first hit of the game, but Atlanta could do nothing with it.
Wainwright threw mostly curveballs all game long and the Braves did not adjust to that, instead getting under a lot of pitches for popups. When all was said and done Atlanta managed just three hits through 7.2 innings against Wainwright as he struck out eight batters before leaving due to high pitch count in the eighth.
Mike Soroka mixed his pitches beautifully and had the Cardinals guessing all day long (and Sam Holbrook too I’d say). Soroka went seven strong with just two hits allowed while striking out seven Cardinals.
The Braves posed their first big threat in the eighth inning as Dansby Swanson singled with one out. Adam Duvall then lined out for the second out of the inning. However, after a walk to Ronald Acuna, Wainwright also walked Albies to load up the bases with two outs. Then Freddie Freeman came up with two outs and the Cardinals pulled Wainwright in favor of Andrew Miller. Miller made quick work of Freeman though, who has been atrocious this series, by inducing a pop out to center.
First out of the pen in the eighth for Atlanta was Max Fried on his third straight game of relief work and he immediately walked two batters to get in trouble, but eventually got an out before exiting in favor of Darren O’Day. O’Day picked a runner off of the bases, but allowed a single to put runners back on first and second. Snitker then turned to Sean Newcomb who was able to send the game into the ninth.
The Cardinals turned to Carlos Martinez for the save in game three. Josh Donaldson led off the inning with a bullet double down the left field line and was immediately pulled in favor of the speedy Billy Hamilton. Next up was Nick Markakis who struck out on a changeup down. Atlanta then pinch hit with Adeiny Hechavarria who proceeded to strike out as well. Hamilton was able to steal third with two outs and stood just 90 feet away from tying the game with Brian McCann up. McCann was intentionally walked in favor of pitching to Dansby Swanson.
That decision would end up to bite the Cardinals as Swanson absolutely ripped a game tying single into the left field corner. With the score knotted at 1, and with all the momentum on the Braves side, Adam Duvall made his way to the plate and casually nailed a two run bloop into shallow center field that gave Atlanta a 3-1 lead. The Braves could score no more and turned to Mark Melancon for the series lead.
Melancon induced a Kolten Wong groundout to short for the first out of the inning. Then, after a Goldschmidt groundball double he struck out Ozuna for the second out. The Cardinals final hope was Yadier Molina and Melancon induced a weak fly ball to complete the miraculous comeback.
There will be at least one more game tomorrow evening with starters unannounced.