- Associated Press - Saturday, May 17, 2014

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Fredi Gonzalez felt strongly about a call that went against the Atlanta Braves that he charged out of the dugout for a second time after getting ejected.

A foiled sacrifice bunt that became a double-play ball in a 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday was a chance the Braves‘ scuffling offense couldn’t afford to miss.

“What are you going to do?” said Gonzalez, who was booted in the fifth by home plate umpire Ron Kulpa. “We still scored one run.

“We score a run on a throwing error and pretty much that’s all we had to go on.”


The Braves scored two or fewer runs for the 19th time in 41 games, and got beat by an opponent that did the little things. The Cardinals had four bunt singles, two each by rookie Kolten Wong and Peter Bourjos, and three of them led to runs in support of Shelby Miller’s strongest outing of the season.

“We were absolutely in the game,” Jason Heyward said. “But you have to execute the small things.”

Wong scored on Yadier Molina’s shallow sacrifice fly just beyond the infield to tie it in the fourth, and bunted for a hit and drew a wild throw in the go-ahead, two-run rally off Aaron Harang (4-4) in the sixth.

Wong got the go-ahead to tag up after second baseman Tyler Pastornicky backpedaled into shallow right to make the catch, and Heyward, the right fielder, arrived too late.

“By the time I realized I could get there, it would have been tough to call him off,” Heyward said. “Heads-up play on their part by sending the runner.

“He kind of caught it off-balance, and I felt like I would have caught it the same way.”

The Cardinals matched a season high with their fourth straight win.

Miller (6-2) allowed a run and five hits in seven innings, one inning longer than his previous high this season. He matched his season best with seven strikeouts, fanning B.J. Upton three times.

Trevor Rosenthal fanned two in the ninth inning, with Upton striking out a fourth time, to earn his 13th save in 14 chances.

Andrelton Simmons had three hits for Atlanta, which lost its third in a row.

“You check the temperature of the club every single day and guys are upbeat,” Gonzalez said. “Nobody likes to lose, but I haven’t seen anybody put their head down.”

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