David Freese hit his first home run of the season and second of his career to get the Cardinals off to a booming start. The three-run blast hit the right field foul pole and St. Louis never looked back. When it was all over, the scoreboard read 10-4 in favor of the home team and Freese had collected six RBI — the first St. Louis rookie to accomplish such a feat.
Freese boosted his average to .328 and continued his solid start. While he had been playing well, he said it was nice to get the first one out of the way. He picked up the slack for a lineup without Albert Pujols who got the day off. Colby Rasmus stayed hot, reaching base four times. Yadier Molina drove in two runs and Tyler Greene hit a rare home run. It was a nice and relaxing day in St. Louis.
The same can’t be said for the visitors. Atlanta’s losing streak is now at nine games and the frustration is palpable. After all of the excitement during the first two weeks of the year, Bobby Cox and Chipper Jones probably think they’re stuck in 2009. Last year’s club went through some brutal stretches that took the fun out of the game for Jones. On top of the team’s struggle, he battled injury troubles and never put it together at the plate. The hard times caused Jones to say he would retire if 2010 wasn’t better. Jones sat out with an oblique injury and things are starting to look more and more like last year. For Chipper’s sake, I hope the Braves find some magic and turn things around. If the Mets can do it, they can.
On the mound, Adam Wainwright got the job done on a day in which the offense shined. He went six innings and gave up three runs to push his record to 4-1. It was a nice day to be pitching for the ace.
The sweep has also left the rest of the division in the dust. St. Louis (15-7) has a 4.5 game cushion over the second-place Reds (10-11). No other team has a winning record in the Central. The Cards get a chance to continue the momentum and grow their lead with the Reds coming to town.