Game Report: Cardinals 8, Braves 5

By Rob Rains

The Cardinals ran their winning streak to a season-high seven games on Friday night at Busch Stadium and in the process tied a franchise record for offensive success.

For the sixth consecutive game, the Cardinals scored eight or more runs, the third time they have done that in team history. But during the other two streaks, in 1922 and 2011, they lost at least one of the six games.

Paul DeJong led the offense with two doubles, producing three RBIs, including the two-run double in the eighth that provided the final two runs and some insurance after Brett Cecil let in four runs in the span of six batters in the sixth, turning a 6-1 lead into a 6-5 margin.

Cecil had relieved starter Adam Wainwright, who was lifted after five innings.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: The Cardinals had eight hits, and during the seven-game winning streak they have posted a .302 composite average with 11 homers, 21 doubles and 62 runs … Randal Grichuk drove in two runs with a single and triple as the Cardinals built the 6-1 lead with four runs in the second and two in the third … The Cardinals did not have a hit between the fourth and seventh innings.

On the mound: Wainwright got the win as he battled a sore arm throughout, according to manager Mike Matheny, benefitting from a double play in each of the first three innings. He allowed one run on four hits to improve his record to 12-5 … Cecil had another rough outing, turning a five-run lead into a one-run game, retiring just two of the six hitters he faced and giving up a three-run homer … John Brebbia, Zach Duke and Matt Bowman combined to retire the last eight batters in order, with Bowman recording his second save.

Key stat:
For the first time since June 23, 2007, Wainwright did not strike out a batter in a game that he started. It snapped a streak of 261 consecutive starts with at least one strikeout, and was only the third time in 276 career starts that he did not record a strikeout.

Worth noting
: Twenty-year-old Ozzie Albies started at second base for the Braves, becoming the seventh position player that old or younger to start against the Cardinals since 2010. Three of those seven were members of the Braves, with Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward the others. The last 20-year-old position player to start a game for the Cardinals was outfielder David Green in 1981 … Albies hit a three-run homer in the sixth, becoming the youngest player to homer against the Cardinals since Bryce Harper did it twice when he was 19 in 2012 … The Cardinals’ Double A affiliate, the Springfield Cardinals, lost a bid for a combined no-hitter in Corpus Christi with one out in the ninth inning Friday night on a double off Rowan Wick. Ryan Helsley pitched the first six innings but walked five, driving up his pitch count.

Looking ahead:
Carlos Martinez will get the start on Saturday night as the Cardinals try for their eighth consecutive win. Lucas Sims will start for the Braves.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains