ST. LOUIS (AP) — Ronald Acuña Jr. hit a three-run homer Monday night, leading the Atlanta Braves to an 8-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Acuña, who was an All-Star selection last season, finished with a 3-for-4 night with a double and a single. He also drew a walk and scored two runs.
Ozzie Albies smacked a two-run homer and Austin Riley added a solo shot in the Braves’ 10-hit attack. Atlanta has won three of its first four games this season.
Paul Goldschmidt, the 2022 NL MVP, hit his first home run of the season along with a single in four at-bats. He hit 35 homers last season for St. Louis. Nolan Arenado, Nolan Gorman and Tyler O’Neill each had two hits.
St. Louis recorded 12 hits and stranded 11 runners against four Braves pitchers.
Charlie Morton (1-0) pitched 5 1/3 innings to notch the win. The 39-year-old Morton scattered nine hits in giving up three runs. He walked two with one strikeout in his 21st career start against St. Louis.
Jake Woodford (0-1) suffered his first loss in three career decisions to the Braves. Woodford, drawing his first career start in the month of April, pitched 4 1/3 innings, allowing six runs on seven hits, including three home runs. He walked three and registered three strikeouts.
The home run derby for the Braves began early.
Riley homered to left field in the first inning. It went 473 feet, the fourth longest ever in Busch Stadium and second longest by an opponent. It also was the first home run allowed this season by a St. Louis pitcher.
The Cardinals tied the game when Alec Burleson scored on a fielder’s choice.
The Braves scored five runs on two home runs in the second, sending nine men to bat. With a runner on base, Albies homered to right. Acuña extended the Atlanta lead to 6-1 with a three-run homer to center field.
St. Louis narrowed the lead to 6-3 in the fourth on an RBI single by rookie Jordan Walker and a ground out by Brendan Donovan.
Atlanta got two runs back in the seventh off reliever Jordan Hicks. Matt Olson drove in a run with a single and Travis D’Arnaud hit a run-scoring double.
Goldschmidt hit a 3-1 fastball to center field in the seventh off reliever Nick Anderson, cutting the Braves lead to 8-4.