ATLANTA (AP) — Austin Riley’s major league career is just getting started, and Braves manager Brian Snitker likes where it’s headed.
“I love everything about what he’s doing,” Snitker said. “He’s in a good place offensively. He’s confident and rightly so from where he came from and what he’s doing. He’s just carrying it over.”
Riley went 3 for 4 and drove in a run, Julio Teheran pitched five-plus scoreless innings, and the Atlanta Braves won for the fifth time in six games with a 10-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night.
Riley, who homered in his second major league at-bat Wednesday, doubled off the top of the wall in the second inning and singled in a run in the third. He scored twice.
He’s hitting .407 with 32 RBIs over his last 20 games between Atlanta and Triple-A Gwinnett.
“Coming into this, I told myself, ‘Same game, got to have the same approach, go up there with a plan, not just free swinging,'” Riley said. “I think I stuck to that pretty well.”
Teheran (3-4) allowed two hits — a bloop single by Yadier Molina to begin the fifth and a single by Paul Goldschmidt to begin the sixth — and drove in two runs with a sacrifice bunt in the second and a single in the third. Teheran, who has a 0.53 ERA over his last three starts, walked four and struck out four.
“I feel like the way I believe I’ve been pitching lately — I guess it’s been five starts — I’ve really been feeling the way I like to feel,” Teheran said. “I feel like I can throw my pitches in any counts and my command — I walk guys, but that’s part of the game. I really like the way I’ve been feeling.”
Nick Markakis had an RBI double in the three-run third as Atlanta took a 5-0 lead.
The Braves led 2-0 in the second. Markakis walked, advanced to third on Riley’s double and crossed the plate on Brian McCann’s sacrifice fly. Riley scored from third on Teheran’s bunt.
Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright (3-4) gave up five runs, five hits and five walks with two strikeouts in four innings.
“It’s the worst fastball command I’ve had all year,” Wainwright said. “I actually had a good fastball, but I just didn’t locate it worth a darn, and worst breaking ball I’ve had all year. Bad combo.”
Marcel Ozuna’s 13th homer cut the lead to 5-1 in the sixth off Jacob Webb. Matt Carpenter homered off Touki Toussaint to make it 9-2 in the eighth.
Atlanta went up 8-1 in the bottom of the sixth on RBI singles by Freddie Freeman, Josh Donaldson and Markakis. Ronald Acuña Jr.’s RBI single in the seventh made it 9-1, and Freeman hit his eighth homer in the eighth.
RHP Carlos Martinez will rejoin the Cardinals’ bullpen this weekend at Texas after missing 44 games a right shoulder cuff strain. “You’re talking about a legitimate weapon, a two-time All-Star who proved he could do the job out of the bullpen last year,” St. Louis manager Mike Shildt said. “You always want to be able to shorten games.”
STILL IN ROTATION
Snitker said RHP Mike Foltynewicz will make his next start even though he’s 0-3 with an 8.02 ERA in four starts. Foltynewicz, a first-time All-Star last year, threw a bullpen session Thursday as pitching coach Rick Kranitz and bullpen coach Marty Reed began adjusting his mechanics. “They identified some things on tape and saw some things that maybe can help him,” Snitker said. Foltynewicz, whose season started late because of a right elbow bone spur, will face Milwaukee on Sunday.
Home plate umpire Manny Gonzalez left because of an illness before the top of the fifth and was replaced by first base umpire Jim Wolf. Crew chief Sam Holbrook stayed at third, and Dan Iassogna moved from second to first.
Cardinals: RHP Miles Mikolas (4-3, 3.83 ERA) will make his 10th start when St. Louis begins a three-game series at Texas. In four career starts in the Rangers’ ballpark, the former Texas hurler is 0-4 with a 13.73 ERA.
Braves: LHP Max Fried (5-2, 3.25 ERA) will make his ninth start as Atlanta begins a three-game home series Friday against the Brewers. Fried lasted three innings in his only start against Milwaukee, giving up four runs and four hits and walking three in three innings last July 7.
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