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NLDS: St. Louis Cardinals hold off Atlanta Braves to grab 1-0 series lead

By
Connor Grott
St. Louis Cardinals slugger Paul Goldschmidt blasted a solo home run in the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
St. Louis Cardinals slugger Paul Goldschmidt blasted a solo home run in the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 3 (UPI) -- The St. Louis Cardinals had late two-run doubles from Marcell Ozuna and Kolten Wong and held off a late rally from the Atlanta Braves to earn a 7-6 victory in Game 1 of the National League Division Series on Thursday night in Atlanta.

The Cardinals, returning to the postseason for the first time since 2015, fell into an early 3-1 hole after multiple errors from their usually reliable defense.

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Paul Goldschmidt blasted a solo home run in the eighth, sparking a two-run inning that tied the score 3-3. In the top of the ninth, St. Louis blew the game open with an offensive outburst against Braves closer Mark Melancon.

Dexter Fowler and Tommy Edman singled before Goldschmidt walked on four consecutive pitches to load the bases with only one out. Melancon got two quick strikes against Ozuna, only to give up a line drive down the third-base line that plated two runs.

Wong belted another two-run double down the right-field line off Melancon to give the Cardinals a 7-3 advantage headed into the bottom of the ninth.

The Braves responded with a two-run home run from Ronald Acuna Jr. off Carlos Martinez. Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman added a solo homer to cut Atlanta's deficit to one run with one out.

Martinez shook off the home runs and recorded the final two outs to put the Cardinals ahead in the best-of-five series.

Game 2 of the NLDS is scheduled for Friday in Atlanta.

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