It wasn’t exactly redemption but it would have to do. The Braves hosted the Cardinals on Friday night without the drama of a one-game Wild Card playoff and an infield fly called 225 feet from home plate to rile up the masses but they walked away 4-1 winners over the team with the best record in baseball in front of a packed house. A sellout crowd of 50124 — only the third sellout of the season at Turner Field — showed up to see the Braves take on the Cardinals for the first time since the fateful night in October a 6-3 loss. Fans watched Mike Minor not only outduel Cardinals ace and Georgia native Adam Wainwright he drove in the go-ahead run off him as well. Minor lined an RBI single to left field with two outs in the second inning to put the Braves up 2-1 with their fourth and most improbable hit of the inning. He got to the plate with two outs after Jose Constanza beat out a potential double-play grounder to extend the inning. Perhaps Minor was paying a little homage to the ailing Tim Hudson the decent-hitting Braves pitcher who underwent season-ending ankle surgery Friday afternoon. Minor’s two-out single gave him five RBIs on the season the most on the Braves’ starting staff. More important Minor showed a little of what he could do to lead a Braves staff that will have to go without its veteran leader the rest of the way. Minor went right after hitters in one of the more dominant lineups in baseball — the Cardinals came in leading the National League in runs batting average and on-base percentage. Minor scattered four hits over seven innings allowing only one run on a Yadier Molina solo home run. He walked none and struck out five. At one point he retired 10 batters in a row on his way to becoming the first Braves pitcher to reach 10 wins on the season. Craig Kimbrel pitched around a one-out walk in the ninth to reach 29 saves on the season after Jordan Walden pitched a perfect eighth.
Braves take series opener vs. Cardinals
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Jul 27