ATLANTA — After watching the Cardinals fall into an early 6-0 hole, then having to wait out a rain delay that lasted more than 2 1/2 hours, it appeared that the only thing the team’s fans had to look forward to Monday night in Atlanta was a post-game fireworks show.
That show, however, was canceled. The Cardinals tried to compensate and give them something to cheer about in the ninth inning, but their would-be rally came up empty.
The Cardinals loaded the bases with one out, bringing the go-ahead run to the plate, but Nolan Arenado struck out and Albert Pujols grounded back to the pitcher to end the game.
The loss was the 11th in the Cardinals’ last 13 games against the Braves.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals trailed 6-1 when play was stopped before the fifth inning. In the sixth, Juan Yepez and Conner Capel homered to cut the deficit to 6-3. It was the 11th homer for Yepez and the first in the majors for Capel … Capel had driven in the first run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth … In the ninth, they loaded the bases when newly recalled catcher Austin Romine drew a leadoff walk and with one out, Brendan Donovan singled and Paul Goldschmidt walked … The outs by Arenado and Pujols left the Cardinals 1-of-11 in the game with runners in scoring position and 2-of-26 in the first four games of this road trip, during which they have lost three of the four games.
On the mound: The Braves scored all of their runs off Dakota Hudson, including five in the second inning, when the big blow was a bases-loaded double by Dansby Swanson. Hudson has now allowed 22 runs combined in his last five starts in 25 1/3 innings … Johan Oviedo took over after the rain delay but had to leave after 1 2/3 innings when he was hit on his right hand by a line drive hit by Michael Harris. X-rays were negative … James Naile worked the final 2 1/3 innings, retiring all seven batters he faced.
Key stat: Pujols is now 8-of-57, a .140 average, in 21 games since May 23. Against lefthanders, he is now 13-of-49 for the season, a .265 average.
Worth noting: The Cardinals promoted Romine after just six games with Memphis. A high-school teammate of Arenado, he became the fourth catcher to start a game for the Cardinals this season. The Cardinals had not used four catchers since 2018 and one of those that season, Steven Baron, caught only one game… Ivan Herrera was just 2-of-18 before he was optioned to Memphis … Tyler O’Neill was 2-of-3 with a double in his first rehab game with Memphis on Monday night. He is scheduled to play Wednesday and Thursday before possibly rejoining the Cardinals next weekend.
Looking ahead: Andre Pallante will get the start on Tuesday night in the second game of the series.