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Banuelos gives up 4 ER, Atlanta Braves fall 4-2 to St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Cardinals' Randal Grichuk steals second as Atlanta Braves second baseman Pedro Ciriaco bobbles the throw in the fourth inning of Friday's game in St. Louis. - photo by Tom Gannam

ST. LOUIS — Randal Grichuk homered and rookie Tim Cooney threw seven solid innings to earn his first major league win, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 4-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Friday night.

St. Louis improved to 6-1 since the All-Star break and pushed its home record to an MLB-best 35-12. Meanwhile, the Braves have lost their last six road games.

Grichuk hit a two-run homer in the second inning for the second night in row. His 11th of the season came off rookie Manny Banuelos (1-2), who gave up six hits and four earned runs in five-plus innings. He had allowed one earned run or less in all three of his previous starts.

Cooney (1-0) gave up five hits and two earned runs in an efficient 74-pitch stint. He struck out five and did not walk a batter. The left-hander recorded a no-decision in all five of his previous starts.

Kevin Siegrist retired the Braves in the ninth for his fifth save in eight opportunities. He struck out Jonny Gomes with two on to end the game. St. Louis closer Trevor Rosenthal was given the night off after appearing in the previous three games.

Mark Reynolds and Jhonny Peralta also drove in runs for the Cardinals, who own the best record in the majors at 62-34.

Peralta brought in Matt Carpenter with a run-scoring single in the third for a 3-0 lead.

Atlanta scored twice in the sixth. Cameron Maybin doubled in Andrelton Simmons, who started the inning with a single.

Maybin eventually scored on a wild pitch.

The Braves, who were opening a 10-game road trip, have lost nine of their last 12 overall.


Braves: 1B Freddie Freeman began a rehabilitation assignment with the Rookie League Gulf Coast team in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, on Friday. Freeman, who has missed 29 games, was placed on the 15-day disabled list on June 23 with a bruised right wrist.

Cardinals: Rookie OF/INF Stephen Piscotty did not start on Friday after being a late scratch on Thursday due to a stiff neck.

He reached on an error as a pinch hitter in the seventh.


Former Cardinals RHP Shelby Miller (5-6, 2.33) will face RHP Carlos Martinez (10-4, 2.51) in the second game of the three-game series on Saturday.

Miller was acquired from the Cardinals on Nov. 17, 2014, along with RHP Tyrell Jenkins in exchange for OF Jason Heyward and RHP Jordan Walden. Martinez had recorded 10 successive quality starts.

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