The scoreboard said Cardinals vs. Braves. But it was actually the David Freese show in a Thursday afternoon matinee at Busch Stadium.
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Freese drove in six runs with a three-hit outburst that left him only a triple shy of the cycle. His first inning three-run homer off the right field foul pole put the Cardinals ahead to stay. His bases loaded double with two outs in the fifth -- after the Braves opted to intentionally walk centerfielder Colby Rasmus with first base open -- put the game out of reach 7-1. The Cardinals eventually won it 10-4.
Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright pitched six innings and allowed six hits and three runs to improve his record to 4-1 on the season. He was lifted for a pinch hitter after throwing only 75 pitches. I'm not sure if it was to give him a break after a couple of lengthy outings or if something else was amiss. Dennys Reyes, Blake Hawksworth and Trever Miller combined to pitch three innings of relief with one run allowed.
Helping Freese out with the offensive attack was Colby Rasmus who was 2-for-2 at the plate with a pair of walks and four runs scored. Yadier Molina chipped in two hits in three at bats, drove in two runs and finished the game at first base after eight innings behind the plate. Albert Pujols got the day off.
Starting shortstop Brendan Ryan also didn't play Thursday. He was replaced by recently called up infielder Tyler Greene who hit a homer for his first hit of the season.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Freese.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Freese's first inning three-run homer.
Lowlight: Skip Schumaker, who seemed poised to break out of his slow start, was 0-for-5 on the day to make his batting average slip to .207.