How the game was won
An error by the Braves’ best defender, shortstop Andrelton Simmons, led to two unearned runs and St. Louis hung on to hand the Braves a 4-3 loss at Turner Field that extended their skid to seven games. The Braves rallied most of the way back from 4-0 deficit with a two-run sixth inning and Ramiro Pena’s seventh-inning homer, but they couldn’t complete the comeback on a night when they went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position to continue a disturbing trend.
Pena, batting ninth, doubled and hit a home run as a fill-in for the struggling Dan Uggla.
Justin Upton struck out looking to end the game with the tying and winning runs on base, his fourth strikeout of the night and 11th in four games.
“You get runners on second and third and (Peter) Bourjos takes a fastball in and hits it through past second base. It’s little things like that, I mean, that’s what makes them good. And we had a couple of missed opportunities to come back.” — Braves starter Aaron Harang
“We’re going to battle out of it. I don’t think we’re stressing yet in here. You’d much rather go on a stretch like this early in the year when teams are about even, because you do this kind of run when it’s getting near the end of August and early September, that’s when things get out of control and you definitely lose ground.” — Harang.
“Our bats were a lot better. We put a couple good at-bats with (Evan) Gattis hitting to the right side. (Freddie) Freeman did a nice job going first to third. B.J. (Upton) got a sac fly RBI out of that because of Freeman going to third base on that base hit. So there were a lot of positives, other than at the end, you’d like to get the ‘W’ no matter how you get it.” — Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez.
“We were in the game the whole game. That’s something we haven’t been able to say the past week. So you’ve got to take the positives when you get them, and go in tomorrow with a better mindset.” — Freeman.
The Braves are a majors-worst average of .123 (13-for-106) with runners in scoring position and two outs with Freeman being 5-for-9. … B.J. Upton hit fifth and Justin Upton batted second in a revamped batting order Gonzalez deployed in an attempt to shake things up. The more glaring change had the pitcher batting eighth ahead of Pena. … The Braves are 6-for-51 with runners in scoring position during their seven-game losing streak, their longest since an eight-game jag in May 2012.
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