ATLANTA (AP) — Paul Goldschmidt, Masyn Winn, Willson Contreras and Nolan Gorman went deep as the St. Louis Cardinals hit four home runs for the second straight game and beat the MLB-leading Atlanta Braves 11-6 Wednesday night to take the first two games of the three-game series.
Gorman hit his 27th homer of the season, one day after hitting two home runs as the NL Central-worst Cards beat the Braves 10-6.
Dakota Hudson (6-1) outpitched NL Cy Young Award hopeful Spencer Strider, allowing three runs and seven hits in five innings.
Strider (16-5) lasted just 2 2/3 innings, giving up six runs on six hits, including a home run. Strider had won his last four starts.
The Braves, who entered the series against St. Louis coming off an 8-2 road trip, had won their last eight series, dating to Aug. 4-6 against the Chicago Cubs. They’ll try to salvage a game in the series finale on Thursday.
Matt Olson hit his MLB-leading 46th home run, and Austin Riley also homered for the Braves.
Gorman’s three-run home run in the eighth inning off Dylan Lee put the game out of reach for the Cardinals.
The Braves closed a 7-2 deficit with three runs in the sixth inning. Olson led off with a home run and Michael Harris had a two-run double. With the tying runs on first and third, Ronald Acuña Jr. ended the threat by grounding into a double play.
The Cardinals struck for four runs in the first inning. Goldschmidt gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead after just two batters with a 406-foot home run over the Cardinals’ bullpen in left field, his 23rd of the season. Three batters later, Contreras knocked in Gorman from third with a grounder to second, and Alec Burleson followed with an RBI single that scored Nolan Arenado. Burleson was thrown out at second on the play by Acuña, but the Cardinals held a 4-0 lead and forced Strider to throw 26 pitches.
Contreras pushed the lead to 5-0 in the third with a ground ball single past a diving Orlando Arcia that scored Gorman. Burleson picked up another RBI on a fielder’s choice.
Contreras hit his 17th homer of the season in the seventh inning, and Winn hit his first of the year in the sixth.
Braves LHP Max Fried (6-1, 2.52) will face veteran Cardinals RHP Adam Wainwright (3-10, 8.10) in the final game of the three-game series. Wainwright, who has lost nine straight decisions, is seeking career win No. 199.