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William Contreras’ four hits lead Braves’ rout of Cardinals

Aug 26, 2022; St. Louis, Missouri, USA;  Atlanta Braves first baseman Matt Olson (28) slides safely in at home against the St. Louis Cardinals during the fourth inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

William Contreras went 4-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs to power the visiting Atlanta Braves to an 11-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night.

Ronald Acuna Jr. and Robbie Grossman drove in two runs each for the Braves, who won for the 15th time in their past 17 games.

Tyler O’Neill hit a two-run homer for the Cardinals, who lost for just the third time in 13 games.

Braves starter Spencer Strider (8-4) held the Cardinals to one run on six hits and a walk in six innings. He struck out seven.

Cardinals starter Jose Quintana (4-6) allowed four runs (two earned) on seven hits and two walks in five-plus innings. He fanned three.

Yadier Molina made his 2,092nd start at catcher for the Cardinals, passing Bob Boone, who played from 1972-90, for third most in major league history.

The Cardinals broke on top in the third inning. Tommy Edman was hit by a pitch, stole second base, moved to third on Lars Nootbaar’s infield single and scored on a double-play grounder.

Atlanta exploited a fourth-inning Cardinals miscue to move ahead 2-1. After Dansby Swanson hit a single and Austin Riley lined out, Matt Olson hit a potential double-play grounder to second baseman Nolan Gorman, who threw wildly toward second base.

Swanson scored on the error, and Travis d’Arnaud followed with a RBI single.

Atlanta extended its lead to 5-1 in the sixth inning. Riley walked, Olson hit a double, d’Arnaud walked and Contreras hit a three-run double.

The Braves made it 8-1 in the eighth inning on RBI singles by Grossman and Acuna followed by Swanson’s run-scoring groundout.

After Michel Harris II hit an RBI double in the ninth inning, the Cardinals put backup catcher Andrew Knizner on the mound. Grossman hit a run-scoring grounder and Acuna added an RBI single to make it 11-1.

O’Neill’s two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth cut the deficit to 11-3. Brendan Donovan later hit a RBI single off the head of reliever Jackson Stephens, who was able to exit the field under his own power.

–Field Level Media