Acuña, Morton lift Braves to 8-4 win over Cardinals


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.

ROSTER MOVES Braves: Selected the contract of LHP Dylan Dodd to Atlanta and optioned LHP Jared Shuster to Triple-A Gwinnett. ... To make room on the 40-man roster, Atlanta designated OF Jordan Luplow for assignment.

Cardinals: OF Lars Nootbaar (left thumb contusion) was placed on the 10-day IR. Nootbaar has been out with a jammed left thumb from a slide at third base on Thursday. St. Louis recalled INF/OF Juan Yepez from Triple-A Memphis.


Atlanta announced Monday it will retire No. 25, worn by Braves outfielder Andruw Jones. The special number retirement ceremony to honor Jones will be held Sept. 9, before a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. During his 12 seasons with the Braves, Jones won 10 straight Gold Glove Awards and was voted to the All-Star Team five times. Jones finished his Major League career with 1,933 hits, 1,289 RBIs and 434 home runs. He was inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame in 2016.


Braves: RHP Max Fried (left hamstring strain) had been lined up to start Wednesday’s game but will miss that start. He is likely headed to the injured list.

Cardinals: RHP Giovanny Gallegos (lower back stiffness) didn’t play in his fourth straight game. He remains listed as day to day. UP NEXT

Braves: LHP Dylan Dodd (MLB debut) will be the second Atlanta rookie left-hander to make his debut in the team’s first five games. Dodd grew up 172 miles from Busch Stadium in Danville, Illinois.

Cardinals: LHP Steven Matz (5-3, 5.25 in 2022) pitched in just 15 games with 10 starts in 2022. He didn’t face the Braves last year but he has a 3.42 ERA in 79 innings in his career against Atlanta.