Cardinals land crush­ing blow

Record 10-run 1st vaults them into NL Cham­pi­onship Se­ries

Baltimore Sun - - BASEBALL - By Paul New­berry

AT­LANTA — With a stun­ning out­burst their first time up, the Cardinals scored 10 runs for the big­gest open­ing in­ning in post­sea­son his­tory and dealt the Braves an­other play­off heart­break with a 13-1 rout in de­ci­sive Game 5 of the NLDivi­sion Se­ries on Wed­nes­day.

Be­fore many fans had reached their seats, the Cardinals were al­ready book­ing their plans for the NL Cham­pi­onship Se­ries.

It will be the Cardinals’ first NLCS trip since 2014.

“We know we can beat any­one at this point,” Kolten Wong said.

For the Braves, it might take a while to get over this de­ba­cle.

Af­ter pitch­ing seven score­less in­nings in a Game 2 win, Mike Foltynewic­z re­tired only one hit­ter be­fore get­ting yanked. First base­man Fred­die Free­man made a cru­cial er­ror that might have lim­ited the dam­age. The Cardinals scored their fi­nal run of the in­ning on a strike­out — a wild pitch in the dirt that skipped away from catcher Brian McCann.

It was the Braves’ 10th straight post­sea­son round loss, ty­ing the ig­no­min­ious mark set by the Cubs be­tween 1908 and 2003. “Ev­ery­thing went wrong,” Free­man said. Cardinals starter Jack Fla­herty threw 104 pitches over six in­nings, sur­ren­der­ing four hits and one run.

This one, though, will long be re­mem­bered for what hap­pened be­fore Fla­herty even took the mound.

The Cardinals bat­ted around and got more than half­way through their or­der a sec­ond time. Tommy Ed­man, Fowler and Wong all had two-run dou­bles in what looked like a gi­ant pinball game as the Cardinals equaled the high­est-scor­ing in­ning in post­sea­son his­tory, a record ini­tially set by the Philadel­phia Ath­let­ics in 1929.

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