Liberatore pitches Cardinals to 4-1 win over Braves and doubleheader split after 6-2 loss in opener


ST. LOUIS (AP) — Matthew Liberatore pitched six shutout innings in a spot start and Alec Burleson hit a go-ahead, two-run double to lead the St. Louis Cardinals over the Atlanta Braves 4-1 Wednesday for a day-night doubleheader split.

Jarred Kelenic had three hits, including his eighth home run, and three RBIs as the Braves won the opener 6-2. Kelenic was 6 for 9 with four RBIs in the doubleheader and is hitting .362 (17 for 47) with four homers and 10 RBIs since being moved to the leadoff spot in the batting order following Ronald Acuña Jr.'s season-ending knee injury.

Liberatore (2-2) gave up two hits and struck out eight in his fifth start of the season. He got the spot start following Tuesday night's rainout.

Burleson put the Braves ahead 2-0 in the third off Bryce Elder (1-3), who was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett earlier in the day. An NL All-Star last season, Elder allowed two runs and five hits in six innings.

Michael Siani and Masyn Winn had two-out singles before Burleson lined the ball into the right-field corner for his 27th hit in June. Paul Goldschmidt and Brendan Donovan added run-scoring singles off Grant Holmes in the eighth.

Closer Ryan Helsley struck out Adam Duvall with two on for his major league-leading 28th save in 29 chances, his 28th in a row.

Kelenic had a run-scoring hit with two-out in the eighth off JoJo Romero after hitting a two-run homer in the sixth inning of the opener,

Reynaldo López (6-2) improved to 4-0 in his last five starts, allowing two runs and four hits in five innings.

After Ramón Laureano hit into a run-scoring forceout, Zack Short had a two-run single in a four-run second that included Kelenic’s RBI single. Matt Carpenter hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom half, and Alec Burleson had a sacrifice fly in the fifth.

Kelenic’s homer was the first allowed by Kyle Leahy in 17 appearances and 28 1/3 innings this season.