ATLANTA (AP) — It was difficult for Jack Flaherty and the Cards to enjoy a runaway win over Atlanta because he couldn’t avoid one bad inning.
Flaherty didn’t have to worry. His St. Louis teammates roughed up Braves pitching all night.
St. Louis hit four home runs, including three-run shots by Marcell Ozuna , Yadier Molina and Kolten Wong, and the Cardinals beat struggling right-hander Mike Foltynewicz and the Braves 14-3 on Tuesday.
Flaherty (4-3) did not allow a hit through four innings. St. Louis led 11-0 before Flaherty gave up three runs and three hits in the fifth.
“Another long inning,” Flaherty said, adding “I’ve got to stay away from that.”
Cardinals manager Mike Schildt allowed Flaherty to remain in the game and finish strong with a perfect sixth inning.
“I was able to get through it,” Flaherty said.
The 2019 struggles for Foltynewicz (0-3) continued. He gave up eight runs, matching his career high, while lasting only 4 2/3 innings.
Foltynewicz, a 2018 All-Star, saw his ERA climb to 8.02 in four starts. He began the season on the injured list with a bone spur in his right elbow. He insists his elbow is fine.
“It’s really frustrating,” Foltynewicz said. “It’s nothing with the elbow or anything. We’re past that.”
Foltynewicz has allowed eight homers in 21 1/3 innings after allowing 17 in 183 innings in 2018, when he was 13-10 with a 2.85 ERA and 202 strikeouts.
Braves manager Brian Snitker said before the game he hoped Foltynewicz would be ready to find his top form after the late start to his season. Instead, the right-hander struggled from the first inning.
“Kind of everything is flat and not coming out real good,” Snitker said. “He paid for it.”
Ozuna’s homer gave the Cardinals a 3-0 lead in the first. Dexter Fowler led off the fourth with a homer to right, and Molina’s shot knocked Foltynewicz out of the game and was the big hit in a six-run fifth.
Wong added to the lead with his three-run homer off Jonny Venters in the ninth.
Atlanta’s first hit off Flaherty in the fifth was Brian McCann’s broken-bat dribbler against the defensive shift toward an abandoned third base. McCann scored on pinch-hitter Charlie Culberson’s single to left. Ronald Acuña Jr. drew a bases-loaded walk off Flaherty to force in a run.
The Cardinals were shut out in each of Flaherty’s last two starts. Bolstered by the big offensive support against the Braves, Flaherty allowed three runs on three hits in six innings despite matching his career high with five walks. He had six strikeouts.
St. Louis outhit the Braves 14-3. Every Cardinals starter, including Flaherty, had at least one hit.
Cardinals: RHP Carlos Martinez (shoulder) is scheduled to throw 30 pitches for Double-A Springfield on Wednesday. If all goes well, he could join the team this weekend in Texas.
Braves: CF Ender Inciarte left the game with lower back tightness before the fourth inning and was being examined after the game. … 1B Freddie Freeman started after missing Sunday’s game with an illness and having Monday’s off day for extra recovery time. Freeman was still sick, according to Snitker, who pulled the first baseman in favor of pinch-hitter Matt Joyce in the fifth.
HOME IN THE SOUTH
The Cardinals improved to 6-1 at SunTrust Park, which opened in 2017. They are 9-1 in their last 10 games in Atlanta since the start of the 2016 season.
Atlanta left-hander Jesse Biddle, activated off the injured list before the game, replaced Foltynewicz in the fifth and gave up four straight hits and a walk. He was charged with three runs while recording one out.
Atlanta right-hander Wes Parsons, who was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett, pitched three scoreless innings. Left-hander Jerry Blevins was designated for assignment.
Cardinals: RHP Michael Wacha (3-0, 5.35) is 0-2 in five career games, including three starts, against the Braves entering Wednesday night’s game. He allowed two runs in a no-decision in his only previous start at SunTrust Park in May 7, 2017.
Braves: RHP Mike Soroka (3-1, 1.21) has allowed only four earned runs in five starts this season entering his first career start against St. Louis.