ST. LOUIS (AP) — Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez has started hitting his pitcher in the No. 8 spot in the batting order to try and generate offense.
After watching his team held to two runs or fewer for the 18th time in a 5-2 setback to St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night, Gonzalez joked that he may have to revert to more extreme measures.
"Well, we can hit the pitcher fourth," Gonzales said when asked what he could do to help his team score more runs.
Kidding aside, Gonzalez does feel that the pieces are in place for the offense to be successful.
"We've got a talented club and teams go through this stuff," Gonzalez said. "We haven't even started busting like we're capable of. Sooner or later, we'll start swinging."
The Braves' Chris Johnson went 2 for 4 with a run scored. Johnson is batting .377 (20 for 53) in May.
While Johnson has been hot, his teammates have not. The Braves have lost 11 of 16.
"We've just got to keep going," Johnson said. "It's tough. Obviously, we're frustrated and we want to put some crooked numbers up there. We can't force it. We have to stay the course and keep working."
Allen Craig had three hits, drove in a run and scored twice and Lance Lynn allowed two runs over seven innings to lead the Cardinals.
Lynn (5-2) allowed seven hits walked two and struck out three. He seemed to get stronger as the game went on.
Carlos Martinez retired the Braves on four pitches in the eighth and Trevor Rosenthal set down the side in order for his 12th save in 13 opportunities.
Matt Carpenter and Kolten Wong had two hits each and scored a run for St. Louis. Matt Holiday, Matt Adams and Yadier Molina all drove in a run for the Cardinals.
St. Louis finished the game without manager Mike Matheny and center fielder Peter Bourjos, both of whom were ejected by home plate umpire Sean Barber at the end of the fourth inning for arguing balls and strikes
Continue reading this story on the...