Once again, the Braves looked like a machine as they steamrolled the Cardinals 7-1 on Tuesday at Truist Park.

Atlanta is 48-34.

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Here are five observations on the win:

1. A night after they hung five runs on the Cardinals in the second inning, the Braves didn’t wait as long.

Their five-run first inning versus Andre Pallante paced another impressive offensive performance. In this explosive frame, the Braves sent nine to the plate, launched a pair of two-run homers and collected six hits. The five runs marked Atlanta’s highest output in a first inning this season.

“It’s huge,” third baseman Austin Riley said. “I think it shows what this lineup is capable of on a given night. We’re putting up really good at-bats right now, one through nine. Guys are doing their job, moving guys over, (hitting) with runners in scoring position.”

Pallante, a rookie right-hander, had allowed two or fewer runs in all but one of his five starts coming into this game. And he had pitched well out of the bullpen before moving to the rotation.

The Braves tagged Pallante for seven runs on 10 hits over 3 2/3 innings, which is easily his worst outing as a major leaguer.

Of what opponents think about a Braves lineup that can quickly put any game out of hand, Ian Anderson said: “It’s not a good feeling. You know you’re up against it from the get go. And for us, that’s a really good feeling to know we have that explosive capability and we can break out at any time.”

Combined ShapeCaption
Braves outfielder Michael Harris beats the throw to St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt for a single during the fourth inning in a MLB baseball game on Tuesday, July 5, 2022, in Atlanta. “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Braves outfielder Michael Harris beats the throw to St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt for a single during the fourth inning in a MLB baseball game on Tuesday, July 5, 2022, in Atlanta.  “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Combined ShapeCaption
Braves outfielder Michael Harris beats the throw to St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt for a single during the fourth inning in a MLB baseball game on Tuesday, July 5, 2022, in Atlanta. “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

2. When Anderson left the mound, he had a one-run deficit.

When he returned, he pitched with a four-run lead.

Five days after allowing seven runs over two innings in Philadelphia, Anderson held the Cardinals to a run over five frames. He gave up eight hits and walked one batter, but successfully navigated trouble as he turned in a nice bounce-back effort. He struck out three batters and threw 99 pitches.

“I was talking with (pitching coach RIck Kranitz) about it: When you’re struggling, you kind of feel like you need to chase swing and miss because if they put the ball in play, that’s what’s been going on, that’s why you’re struggling, that’s why you’re giving up runs,” Anderson said. “That kind of freed me up to do the opposite. We get that big lead and I kind of embraced contact. Just free up my mind a little bit, try to attack the zone with my offerings.

“I definitely felt a lot better about how that one went.”

3. Riley and William Contreras, both having great seasons, hit two-run homers in the first inning. The first gave the Braves a two-run lead, the second pushed that lead to four runs.

This was a classic example of what Atlanta can do to opponents.

Their ability to hit home runs is a major part of their identity. They rank second in MLB in home runs with 124. Their company in the top three: The Yankees (first) and Astros (third).

“It’s what we’re known for,” Riley said. “For me, I think the homers come when you put up good at-bats, and I think we’re doing that right now, so it’s nice.”

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Braves pitcher Tyler Matzek delivers against the St. Louis Cardinals during the 8th inning in a MLB baseball game on Tuesday, July 5, 2022, in Atlanta. “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Braves pitcher Tyler Matzek delivers against the St. Louis Cardinals during the 8th inning in a MLB baseball game on Tuesday, July 5, 2022, in Atlanta.  “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Combined ShapeCaption
Braves pitcher Tyler Matzek delivers against the St. Louis Cardinals during the 8th inning in a MLB baseball game on Tuesday, July 5, 2022, in Atlanta. “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

4. For the first time since May 10, Tyler Matzek took the mound for the Braves as he returned from a left shoulder impingement.

He tossed a scoreless inning. He walked one batter. He threw 22 pitches, 10 of which were strikes. His fastball averaged 93 mph and he topped out at 95 mph. He also made an impressive behind-the-back grab on a ball, just like he did last season.

“That was great, that was awesome,” Anderson said of Matzek’s return. “We know the type of guy he’s capable of, and it’s one of the best lefty relievers, probably, in baseball. And the expectation is high, without a doubt. He would want it to be. Every time he goes out there, he’s got a chance to get back into his groove and I think the best is still ahead.”

5. In the fourth inning, Matt Olson went the other way for a run-scoring double that plated Michael Harris.

You should not be shocked to read that.

Olson leads all of baseball with 32 doubles. He entered the game on pace for 62 extra-base hits, which would shatter the single-season franchise record of 51, set in 1894 by Hugh Duffy.

Olson needs four more doubles the rest of the way to notch a career high for a single season.

Braves 7, Cardinals 1

Stat to know

2.10 to 3.03 - Pallante’s ERA rose from 2.10 to 3.03 after the Braves roughed him up in the series’ second game.

Quotable

“I think they realize this team’s never going to shut it down, that’s for sure. Just kind of the way we play, I guess.” - Snitker on what it’s like for opponents to know the Braves can explode at any point

Up next

Max Fried will pitch Wednesday’s game, which begins at 7:20 p.m. Right-hander Miles Mikolas will start for the Cardinals.